Date: 9th August 2017 at 11:07am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is likely to miss our first two games of the 2017/18 season.

The Chilean international returned to training late following illness this summer after his extended break, but on returning to training his search for peak fitness has been hampered by a small knock he picked up ahead of the Community Shield tie against Chelsea.

Speaking to the Official Site in his midweek round of interviews, Wenger explained that whilst it wasn’t serious, it could sideline him for two games.

‘He had a little abdominal strain that he caught on Sunday morning in training, before he came to Wembley. He had a scan two days ago and he`s out for a while – we don`t know if it is two weeks or one more week, but he will not be available. We think he will not play at Stoke.’

Wenger went on to say.

‘For us Alexis Sanchez is a loss, of course. But we have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready. It can happen in pre-season and anyway, I don`t think I would have included him on Friday night. I don`t think I would have started him. He is focused. Of course when you have treatment on a medical bench, it`s not easy.’

In terms of other news ahead of the Premier League opener against Leicester this coming Friday, Wenger admitted a few more ‘uncertainties’ when it came to the group.

‘I have plenty of uncertainties about the players who didn`t play against Chelsea. For example Ramsey, Ozil, Mertesacker and of course Koscielny is suspended. I have players coming back who have not played, like Mustafi. Alexis will not be available for example, so I cannot go into the game with too many uncertainties. I can take a gamble on one, maybe maximum two, but I focus more on the players who had the right number of competitive minutes in recent weeks.’

Wenger was confident that we had prepared well though and the ambition in the group this year was right, so hopefully it shouldn’t hamper us.

‘We are well prepared and ready for a fight, and of course ambitious as well. I think we have a good level of physical preparation. All our players got a decent number of minutes of good competition, so overall the preparation of the squad looks good. Then we need to transform the quality of the preparation into points and that is of course a pragmatic view, but what matters is we win the next game and start in a strong way, which we didn`t do last year. That`s what we want to achieve this season.’

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