Gunners lose Hleb to hamstring for a month

January 25, 2007

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Arsenal's Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb is likely to be out for a month after picking up a hamstring injury during the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

'It will be a good four weeks,' manager Arsene Wenger said on the club's website. 'That is disappointing because you don't want to lose players in January because, if you lose them for a long time, then their season is over.'

Dutch striker Robin van Persie is already facing a long lay-off after breaking a metatarsal in his right foot during the 2-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

'Ideally you would say six to eight weeks but as well it could 10,' Wenger said. 'That means April and you are close to the end of the season and then you need to get back to your best level. I hope it is six weeks but that's really optimistic.'

Jeremie Aliadiere (back) and Emmanuel Eboue (ankle) both suffered knocks in the match at Tottenham, although Wenger said both should be fit for next week's second leg at home.

Wenger also said that former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour, released on Thursday by Middlesbrough, is training with the side. Parlour, who made 468 appearances for the club, is returning to gain match fitness.

'He wants to get back to full fitness and I offered him the chance to come and train with us,' said Wenger. 'But I won't be signing him.