Arsene Wenger admits it was a mistake to start Cesc Fabregas
Arsenal were dealt a huge blow when their captain Cesc Fabregas was forced to leave their midweek Champions League match against Sporting Braga with a hamstring injury on Tuesday 23 November.
Wenger has admitted that starting Fabregas was not the right choice as the Spanish international could miss up to three weeks of action.
"It’s very disappointing because I had a hesitation to play him," Wenger. "I took the gamble and it backfired. It looks like a classic hamstring so he will be out for two to three weeks."
Fabregas left the game in the 69th minute as Braga went on to upset Arsenal by a score of 2-0 with both goals coming late in the game in Portugal.
The injury comes only days after Wenger made a special point of mentioning how he would take every precaution to protect Fabregas and would not risk aggravating the injury which Fabregas had been dealing with for several weeks.
On Monday, Wenger had been quoted by reporters as saying,
"Sometimes after the game he has a little recurrence, but at the moment I do not want to take a massive gamble. We cannot afford to lose him, so I check every morning of the game how he is and we monitor him quite well, but it is on the way up."
Wenger must be kicking himself now as Fabregas will likely miss Premier League games against Aston Villa, Fulham, and Manchester United as well as Arsenal's final match of the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Arsenal squandered the opportunity to qualify for the knock-out phase by falling to Braga on Tuesday and now can not afford any errors or setbacks in their final match against Partizan Belgrade as a tie will not guarantee qualification.