Arsenal have been dealt a blow with the news that Mikel Arteta could be out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury.
The full extent of the Spanish midfielder's problem is still to be discovered, but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger did at least receive a boost regarding the fitness of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey ahead of their Barclays Premier League opener at home to Aston Villa.
Walcott limped out of England's 3-2 friendly win over Scotland with a knee injury while Ramsey did not feature for Wales at home to the Republic of Ireland due to an ankle problem.
"(Thomas) Vermaelen is out, (Nacho) Monreal is out and Arteta will be out for this game tomorrow as well. That is the three main injuries we have at the moment. Monreal is not far from coming back. Arteta and Vermaelen are a bit longer," Wenger said.
"It could be as long (as six weeks for Arteta), but honestly we don't know yet. We have to check the severity with the doctor. I haven't talked to the doctor."
The Gunners have yet to land a high-profile signing this summer, with France Under-21 striker Yaya Sanogo, on a free transfer from Auxerre, the only new arrival so far as the protracted pursuit of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez drags on.
Given Wenger has also jettisoned several fringe players this summer to free up the wage bill, Arsenal could find themselves somewhat stretched in terms of numbers ahead of their crucial Champions League play-off against Fenerbahce.
Wenger added: "I don't disagree that we are a bit light at the moment. There are 18 days to go until the end of the transfer market and we are of course looking to strengthen our squad."
Arsenal failed to land Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain earlier in the summer, and it appears they will need to up their bid for Suarez to closer toÂ£50million to have any hope of move the negotiations on.
Wenger refused to be further drawn on the saga.