Gibbs ruled out for a month
Arsenal's defensive crisis has deepened with the news that defender Kieran Gibbs has undergone surgery on his left groin and will be out for a month.
Gibbs has been out of action since October after having surgery to remove a hernia, but it had been hoped he would be back for this week's game against Aston Villa. The England full-back suffered a setback, however, and a specialist has ruled that the youngster will be out for a month.
"Kieran Gibbs has had surgery on his left groin and he will be out for a month," manager Arsene Wenger said.
Defenders Johan Djourou, Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson and Bacary Sagna are already out for the Gunners. Those injuries have forced Wenger to field centre-backs Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny at full-back.
Wenger said of Gibbs' injury: "It was a blow, but first what is important is if he cannot play you have to make the decision that we had to make yesterday (Thursday) and have surgery for him.
"Hopefully it will only be one month because Santos will not come back before March."
Djourou came off last weekend at Manchester City with a groin strain that was expected to keep him out until the new year, but Wenger revealed that the Swiss defender is recovering ahead of schedule and could feature against Wolves on Tuesday.
First-choice right-back Sagna broke his leg in October, but has started running again and is on course for a return next month.
"He is a long way ahead of schedule. I saw him still limping a little bit so we have to be careful but physically he will be ready very quickly because he worked very hard in the gym," Wenger said.
"We think the end of January is a reasonable target for him."