Danny Welbeck will undergo a definitive scan on his injured groin today amid fears he could miss the next four weeks.
The Arsenal forward is emerging as a doubt for Arsenal’s next four fixtures and England’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania after limping off during the second half of Sunday’s draw at Chelsea. Welbeck underwent preliminary scans on Monday and will be assessed further today.
The forward was in considerable pain after the game, but the injury is not said to be serious although Arsenal will not risk Welbeck’s fitness by rushing him back.
Nevertheless, initial fears are that Welbeck will not feature for Arsenal again until after the international break meaning he is set to miss Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash against Doncaster, the Premier League games against West Brom and Brighton as well as next week’s Europa League visit to BATE Borisov.
How Welbeck recovers during the international break will determine whether the forward will be ready for the visit to Watford on October 14.
Arsenal are unlikely to take any chances with Welbeck’s recovery given his history of injury problems.
The forward’s career has suffered because of injuries but those concerns finally looked to be behind him after his promising start to the season. Arsene Wenger is not short of attacking options.
Nevertheless, the news comes as a blow to the Arsenal manager, who has selected Welbeck in his starting XI for all five of the club’s Premier League games this season.
And Welbeck has repaid his manager’s faith, scoring three goals – making him the Gunners’ leading goalscorer this season.
The injury also comes as a blow to England boss Gareth Southgate as he looks to clinch World Cup qualification next month.
Welbeck made his return to the squad for the games against Malta and Slovakia earlier this month, playing in both games and scoring against the Maltese.
Welbeck’s return to the international fold after a long term injury absence arrived as a huge boost to Southgate, who has identified the former Manchester United star as a key member of his squad.
But it is now likely the England boss will head into the forthcoming double-header without Welbeck.