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Gunners blow: Podolski out for up to 10 weeks

PODOLSKI-MONTPELLIERLONDON, England, August 29 – Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski will be unavailable for up to 10 weeks due to a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday.

The Germany international had to be stretchered off during Arsenal’s 2-0 home win over Fenerbahce on Tuesday, which saw the Premier League giants qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.

Speaking immediately after the game, Wenger predicted that Podolski would be out for around three weeks, but subsequent tests revealed that the extent of the injury was greater than initially feared.

“It is bad news about Lukas Podolski as he will be out for eight to 10 weeks,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.

“His hamstring is much more damaged than we thought at the start. It is very disappointing and we have paid a very heavy price for that win. We have to be patient now.”

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored both goals against Fenerbahce but came off in injury time with a groin problem, while Jack Wilshere was the recipient of some robust challenges in the game’s final stages.

However, Wenger said that both players should be available for Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

“The news is quite positive,” he said. “They just had bumps and bruises. They will be involved.”

Wenger also revealed that midfielder Mikel Arteta and captain Thomas Vermaelen are still weeks away from full fitness.

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“Arteta is doing OK, but there are a few weeks to go with him,” he said. “Thomas Vermaelen could be back after the international break.”

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