Arsenal are set to be without key defender Takehiro Tomiyasu for the vital festive fixtures due to a calf strain.
The Japan star limped off during Arsenal’s win over Wolves on Saturday and has undergone a series of tests this week.
And it is understood that Tomiyasu will miss a minimum of three to four weeks, which would rule him out for the busy Christmas period.
Arsenal have some key games on the horizon with a clash against Aston Villa on Saturday, before key Premier League ties against Brighton, Liverpool, West Ham and Fulham.
The three to four week prognosis is viewed as the best case scenario, and whether he can return in that timeframe will depend on how he recovers.
Takehiro Tomiyasu had limped off during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Wolves on Saturday
The Asia Cup begins on January 12 and it remains to be seen whether he plays for Arsenal before then.
The news arrives as a blow to the Gunners who are stretched in defence, particularly with Ben White needing to be managed after recovering from Mikel Arteta called a ‘muscular’ problem.