Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas ruled out of Carling Cup final
Carling Cup final Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Sunday, 28 February Kick-off: 1600 GMT Coverage: Watch live on BBC One & BBC One HD from 1500 GMT, highlights on The League Cup Show; also live on Sky Sports 1; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Fabregas walked off the field after 14 minutes against Stoke
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of the Carling Cup final on Sunday with a hamstring injury.
The midfielder joins winger Theo Walcott (ankle) in missing the match against Birmingham at Wembley.
"Cesc is sad and disappointed but it is a very small injury," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday. "He will be out for one or two games."
Robin van Persie is fit to captain the side, while Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are also expected to return.
It is very unlikely Walcott will be fit for the second leg of the Barcelona game.
Fabregas inspired Arsenal to a blistering start against the Potters but left the field after only 14 minutes and was replaced by Andrey Arshavin.
The look on the 23-year-old's face suggested he feared the worst and on Wednesday
"I don't know if I'll make Sunday or not, but all I know is that from this moment to Sunday 1630 I wont sleep if it is necessary.
"I've waited too long to captain a final for Arsenal and I won't give up until the last second."
"He is disappointed," added Wenger. "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."
On Thursday, Wenger would not be drawn on whether the Spaniard would be fit in time to face his former club Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 second leg on 8 March.
But the Frenchman sounded more upbeat on Friday and with the Gunners playing Leyton Orient on 2 March and Sunderland three days later, Fabregas could yet feature at the Nou Camp.
McLeish relishes chance to win first English trophy
Walcott will also miss the final after being carried off on a stretcher in the Stoke game and Wenger revealed the Englishman will be out for longer than team-mate Fabregas.
"Walcott will be out for two to three weeks with an ankle problem. I would say today it is very unlikely he will be fit for the second leg of the Barcelona game," stated Wenger.
"I imagine the worst so maybe I will be surprised in a positive way but I just give you my gut feeling at the moment.
"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."
Aside from the continued absence of centre-back Thomas Vermaelen with an Achilles tendon injury, Wenger said there were no other fitness problems as the club go looking for their first piece of silverware since
winning the FA Cup in 2005.
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