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Milan lack midfield in derby

AC Milan
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By ESPN Staff

Wenger rules Fabregas out of final

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of the Carling Cup final with a hamstring injury.

But there was some good news for the Gunners when it was revealed Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are expected to be available after they all missed the Stoke game.

Fabregas limped off after just 14 minutes of Wednesday night's 1-0 Premier League win over Stoke and will miss Sunday's clash with Birmingham at Wembley.

"It is a very small injury but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday,'' manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "For how long [beyond that] I don't know, but definitely for Sunday.

"He is disappointed. We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition.''

Wenger would not be drawn on the chances of Fabregas being fit for the second leg of Arsenal's Champions League tie with Barcelona on March 8.

"It is very difficult to give a deadline,'' Wenger added. "It is impossible.''

Theo Walcott will also miss the Carling Cup final after being carried off on a stretcher in the Stoke game.

"I saw him this morning,'' Wenger added. "He has a classic ankle sprain. We don't think there is any more damage to it, but it is still a sprain.

"We are sad for him too. He is out for Sunday and maybe one or two weeks more.''

Van Persie sat out the Stoke match with a hamstring problem, Koscielny was missing with a back problem and Diaby, who was suspended, should be fit after a calf complaint.

Wenger added: "All the three will be available. That's the good news. And everybody else is all right from the Stoke game too.''

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