Arsenal striker Robin van Persie ruled out until mid-October with ankle injury
Arsenal had initially hoped he would return by the end of September, but the damage he sustained during the 2-1 win against Blackburn is more serious than manager Arsene Wenger had expected. Van Persie missed most of last season with an ankle ligament injury and, having started only one game for Arsenal this season, will now be absent for the first two Champions League fixtures as well as the Premier League matche against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Related ArticlesWenger escapes FA punishmentArsenal make final move for SchwarzerWilshere arrested over 'fracas'Stoke complain about Wenger's commentsSpurs play Arsenal in Carling CupAllardyce: Arsenal 'the dirtiest'With Nicklas Bendtner also currently out with a groin injury, new signing Marouane Chamakh is currently the only established option as the main central striker in Wenger's preferred 4-2-3-1 system. Arsenal's challenge for the Premier League title faded following Van Persie's injury last season. Van Persie was part of the Holland team who reached the World Cup final but he will also now miss their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Moldova and Sweden next month. There is better news for Arsenal regarding midfielder Samir Nasri, who injured his knee in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool on the opening day of the season. Nasri suffered ligament damage but, according to a statement on Arsenal's website, he will return to training this week. It gives Wenger the luxury of several options in the midfield 'playmaker' role, with Nasri and Tomas Rosicky both shining in that position following the early-season absence of Cesc Fabregas. Wenger must also chose between new signings Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci in central defence for the match on Saturday against Bolton. Squillaci made his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt last night when he played for the reserves against Blackburn. Johan Djourou and Denilson also featured following recent injuries. Walcott was stretchered off with strapping to his right ankle after just 10 minutes. He missed much of last season following separate rib, ankle, hamstring, knee, hip and back injuries.
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