Nicklas Bendtner 'lucky to be alive' after car crash and misses Olympiakos tie as Gunners injury list grows

By Simon Cass

Nicklas Bendtner in action

Accident: Nicklas Bendtner in action against Fulham

Nicklas Bendtner is out of Arsenal's Champions League match against Olympiakos after a horrific car crash which left him shaken, bruised and lucky to be alive.

The Arsenal striker crashed his £120,000 Aston Martin into a tree on the way to training on Sunday and, although he was at the club's London Colney base on Monday, he did not practise with his team-mates.

The seriousness of the smash was revealed by an Arsenal source, who said: 'Nicklas swerved off the road. It all happened so quickly. He is very shaken and believes he is extremely lucky to escape with his life, let alone serious injury.'

A spokesman for the Ambulance Service confirmed the Dane had a 'very lucky escape', suffering a pain in his shoulder and grazes on a knee.

He said: 'When the ambulance crews arrived at the scene they found a car which was badly damaged after it collided with the hard shoulder fence and a tree. Following a checkover by paramedics, he did not require hospital.'

It is thought two members of Arsenal training staff collected the player and took him to the ground, where he was checked over by a club medic.

Speaking ahead of the Group H clash against Olympiakos, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: 'Fortunately there was no long-term damage but we thought it better he did not train. He should be back on Sunday against Blackburn.'

Cristiano Ronaldo crashed his Ferrari in January

Another smash: Cristiano Ronaldo crashed his Ferrari in January

Wenger is also without Theo Walcott and Denilson while Manuel Almunia has not recovered from a virus, meaning Vito Mannone continues in goal.

Walcott trained but is lacking match fitness after only 45 minutes of friendly action this season following a back problem.

Wenger said: 'Theo is available. He's short of competitive action at the moment - he needs a game, and we'll organise a game for him. He should be back to normal again from Sunday onwards.

'Players here love to play so much that they always try to rush back and I would say that's normal.

'Denilson has a fracture of his back. It's a stress fracture. He could play with it, but if he continued to play it would get worse.

'We discovered it after the Man City game, when he had to come off . Manuel Almunia is close now, maybe Sunday.'

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