Tomas Rosicky is a doubt for Arsenal's trip to Chelsea after suffering an ankle injury, as confirmed by Arsene Wenger, who is set to take charge of his 1,000th Gunners match during Saturday's Premier League showdown.
Rosicky will undergo a test on his problem, reported by Arsenal's official Twitter account and detailed by James Olley of the London Evening Standard:
Despite playing a bit-part role this season, Rosicky recently netted a stunning winner to ensure Arsenal beat local rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane. His early thunderbolt ripped past Hugo Lloris to provide victory and maintain the Gunners' pace at the top—an objective they will hope to keep alive with three points against Chelsea.
Rosicky has made 26 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League this season, reported by WhoScored.com. He also netted against Spurs in the FA Cup and added the third goal of Arsenal's 4-1 league win over Sunderland, but has struggled to make a consistent impact in a squad that is packed with similar midfielders.
Arsenal's website declared that Rosicky "continues to be an influential force" when announcing the Czech Republic international's new contract at the beginning of March, a deal that will keep him at the club for a further two years, reported by Alex Richards of the Mirror.
Rosicky joined Arsenal in 2006 from Borussia Dortmund, and surprisingly, he is yet to win a major trophy at the club. The experienced midfielder embodies Arsene Wenger's style with reliable passing, plenty of energy and a natural affinity for getting forward.
He currently competes with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in the first team, allowing Wenger to replace quality with quality in a rotational system. Arsenal are currently without all of the aforementioned midfielders aside from Cazorla, reported by Paul Doyle of The Guardian.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's transition from winger to central midfield has the capacity to limit Rosicky's game time in the future, especially considering the Englishman offers a burst of pace the aforementioned midfielders cannot match.
Rosicky is the type of experienced head needed as Arsenal continue to build. His absence could be crucial at this stage of the season—especially considering the club's other casualties—signalling Wenger may need to mix his selection up ahead of the Chelsea game.
Mounting injury problems couldn't have come at a worse time. The Gunners' title bid will be all but over if they fall seven points behind Jose Mourinho's leaders with defeat at Stamford Bridge, a match that is sure to define Arsenal's season.