Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of Sunday's Carling Cup final against Birmingham with a hamstring injury.
Fabregas picked up the problem during Wednesday's 1-0 win over Stoke and was forced off within the opening quarter of the hour at the Emirates.
The 23-year-old was keen to do all he could to prove his fitness, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed the Spaniard will miss the Wembley showpiece.
"It is a very small injury but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday," Wenger told the club'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."
Walcott sidelinedWenger is unsure how long the injury will sideline Fabregas with the second leg of their Champions League showdown with Barcelona taking place next month.
"It is very difficult to give a deadline," said Wenger. "It is impossible."
Theo Walcott has also been ruled out of the Carling Cup final after suffering an ankle injury against Stoke.
Wenger believes the injury is not serious and is hopeful of having the winger back in two weeks.
"I saw him this morning," added Wenger. "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 more weeks more."
Triple boostThere was better injury news for Wenger with the Frenchman revealing Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are expected to be available after they all missed the Stoke game.
Van Persie missed the match with a hamstring problem, Koscielny was sidelined with a back problem and Diaby, who was suspended, should be fit after a calf complaint.
"All the three will be available," continued Wenger. "That's the good news.
"And everybody else is all right from the Stoke game too."
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