Reports this morning say that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might need surgery this summer to help sort out an ongoing groin problem.
Having tweaked a hamstring at Old Trafford in the FA Cup win last month, the England midfielder was on his way back to full fitness but will miss another couple of weeks as the underlying problem flared up again.
We’ve seen already this season how connected it all can be when Mikel Arteta underwent ankle surgery to prevent the string of calf strains he’d been suffering throughout the campaign.
While Arsene Wenger is confident that Oxlade-Chamberlain will play again this season, he’s anxious to get the problem sorted once and for all in the summer, when no international tournament gives him plenty of time to recover.
“It is taking a bit longer than I thought because he has a groin inflammation,” said Wenger.
“It is related to everything before. I hope it does not become a long-term problem but he faces a hurdle this week in training.
“We will see if he has recovered well, so the end of this week and the start of next week are important to see if he got rid of that inflammation. It is not his hamstring any more. It is groin inflammation.”
The Frenchman ruled the former Southampton man out of the FA Cup semi-final, saying he needs rest.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is not available for the next two weeks at least,” he said. “He will not be available for the Burnley game on Saturday and he will not be available for the semi-final of the FA Cup against Reading next Saturday.”
Let’s hope two weeks more does the trick, and that he can play a part between now and the end of the season.