Arsene Wenger has been given another major injury scare after rookie Yaya Sanogo deepened .
Sanogo, 20, returned to Arsenal early from international duty with France under-21s after picking up a back injury and will have intensive treatment.
Arsenal’s medical staff do not believe the back problem – suffered during France u-21s’ win over Kazakhstan last week – is serious but it does leave them desperately short of options.
Sanogo, in the summer from Auxerre, has been a regular on the bench this season because of a growing injury list.
Lukas Podolski, their other experienced striker, is out for three months to leave Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s only fit and available centre forward. That means Theo Walcott is their only other alternative if Giroud gets injured.
Nicklas Bendtner is out of favour and is also several weeks away from match fitness after spending the summer trying to negotiate a move.
Arsenal tried to bring in a new striker but failed with bids for Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain while a deadline day move for Demba Ba fell through.
That only heightens the need for Sanogo to get back quickly as Arsenal’s next in line is youngster Chuba Akpom, 17, who is already set to feature in the Capital One Cup after impressing in pre-season.