Arsenal are set to lose Germany International Shkodran Mustafi for at least a month after the defender suffered a Hamstring Injury in the win over Stoke on Saturday.
Mustafi, who has made a huge impact since his £35million arrival from Valencia in the summer, limped off after just 25 minutes.
And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fears his influential centre back will not play again in 2016.
"It's a bad one, he wasn't carrying anything before the game. I checked three times," said Wenger."The minimum when you get one like that is 21 days, that means he will have a nice Christmas."
The news leaves Wenger sweating on his Central Defensive options. With Per Mertesacker at least five weeks away from being available following a serious knee Injury sustained in pre-season, Wenger is one injury away from a central defensive dilemma.
The Gunners do have Rob Holding, a £2million summer signing from Bolton, in their ranks but the 21-year-old hasn't played in the Premier League since August.