Arsene Wenger admits Samir Nasri is now a major doubt for their Champions League clash against Barcelona after his gamble "backfired'' when the influential midfielder picked up a hamstring injury in the 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win over League One Huddersfield at Emirates Stadium.
Gunners avoid extra game
The Gunners made sweeping changes from the side which had booked a place at Wembley with their midweek Carling Cup semi-final second leg win over Ipswich. However, because of concerns over the fitness of Tomas Rosicky, who has been troubled by a virus, Wenger elected to put Nasri in the starting XI.
It had all been going to plan when Nicklas Bendtner's angled shot deflected in off Terriers skipper Peter Clarke to put the Gunners ahead on 22 minutes. However, French playmaker Nasri then limped off with a hamstring problem as he chased a long kick up field from Manuel Almunia.
Wenger said: "Nasri looks to have a serious hamstring injury. Usually it is three weeks. We have to see if it is a grade 1, it will be two weeks, so we will see.
"I have now regrets because the plan was to play Rosicky, but he was still too weak because he was sick, so I took the gamble on Nasri. It backfired, but he could have come on and that happened as well. It is very difficult to predict.
"We are at the stage of the season where we play so many games that to lose bodies is very difficult for us. But Samir is a big blow.''
Sebastien Squillaci was shown a red card by referee Mark Clattenburg for blocking Jack Hunt's surging run just before half-time.
Alan Lee headed a deserved equaliser for the Terriers, but captain Cesc Fabregas came off the bench and won it from the spot after Jamie McCombe was adjudged to have pushed Bendtner over.
Terriers boss Lee Clark drew encouragement from his side's display and said: "We've got to get that level of performance, if we can do that in the second half of the season in League One, we can do what we want to achieve."
He also had words of praise for youngster Hunt and goalscorer Lee, saying: "You can see he [Hunt] is going to be a great player for us. Alan's general play was very good. He held the ball up well for the team and was a target, and took the goal really well. Hopefully he can go on a run now."