Fresh setback for Eduardo as Arsenal striker faces two weeks on the sidelines


No luck: Eduardo has been sidelined again

Eduardo, who announced his return from a broken leg with two goals for Arsenal this week, has been struck down by injury again.

The Croatia striker strained a hamstring in Monday’s FA Cup win against Cardiff and is expected to be ruled out for two weeks.

‘What a nightmare!’ said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. ‘He picked up a hamstring injury two minutes before I took him off. It is nothing like he had before, but I do know little setbacks like this are part of being nine months out.’

Eduardo’s latest blow creates an opportunity for Andrei Arshavin to make his club debut against Sunderland on Saturday.

‘He will be involved but I have not decided what to do with him yet,’ said Wenger, who may start the Russian on the bench as he has not played since December.

Another returning star in midweek was Wayne Rooney, who scored with his first touch in the win over Fulham to emphasise the task now facing Manchester United’s rivals.

Rooney said: ‘People talk about the Champions League and Premier League but I’ve had my two biggest heartaches in football in the FA Cup. At the start of the season the aim was to go as far as we can in all of the competitions and to be still in all of them in February is great.’

United can go eight points clear of Liverpool if they win at home to Blackburn tomorrow and Rooney added: ‘It’s always nicer to be top of the League rather than chasing, which we have been for most of the season. Now we’re a few points clear we know what we’ve got to do and hopefully we will.’