That worry about a small injury growing into a big one, one that will keep a key Arsenal player out for a long while is growing after Arsene Wenger admitted Aaron Ramsey will not be ready for action until after the next international weekend.
Ramsey suffered a grade one hamstring strain on the opening day of the season, and hasn't returned since. The initial prognosis was a two-three weeks, but considering the problems that the Wales international has suffered before on his hamstring, Arsenal have decided to tread with caution as far his return to the lineup is concerned.
The midfielder will miss the London derby against Chelsea on Saturday, while he is also likely to sit out the Champions League match against FC Basel and the Premier League game against Burnley after that.
"Aaron is still struggling with his hamstring, I don't think he will be available for Basel or Burnley. Before the break he won't be available," Wenger told reporters in his pre-match press conference.
The Arsenal manager admitted both the player and physios are reluctant to take a chance on the hamstring and open up the possibility of it being aggravated. "We had a few disappointments with Ramsey, he was close to joining in again," Wenger revealed. "He's not far, but we have to be careful
"I'm not really concerned. It's nothing major, I'm a bit more cautious than I would be. If he was ready to play I'd involve him in the squad.
"He has a small grade one hamstring, but he's not completely free in his mind to push completely. We stop him every time he has a little pain. He's in the last, last, last days of his rehab. While he's not completely comfortable we don't push him."
The reluctance to take a chance on Ramsey is understandable, considering the depth that Arsenal have in midfield. The likes of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny have featured very little so far this season, with Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla preferred. The duo is likely to start the game against Chelsea as well, even if Xhaka made a case for an inclusion with another long-range screamer, in the 4-0 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal could have Olivier Giroud back in the lineup, though, with Wenger set to take a decision on the striker depending on how he copes with the training session on Friday. "We have no new injuries," Wenger added. "Olivier Giroud has a test today to see if he could be involved. He had a good training session yesterday.
"He is a little bit [ahead of schedule], we'll see how he comes out of today's training session."
Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson remain on the treatment table.