Arsenal hit by Van loss

Simon Stone

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will face an anxious wait to discover whether striker Robin van Persie faces another injury lay-off.

The Dutchman was forced off with a knee injury before half-time of Netherlands' incredible 5-3 win over Hungary in their Euro 2012 Group E qualifying tie in Amsterdam.

Van Persie had opened the scoring for the Dutch after 13 minutes but was forced to leave the field a minute before the interval following a late tackle by Vilmos Vanczak.

It would be a major blow for Wenger and his hopes of maintaining a challenge to Manchester United for the Premier League title if Van Persie is out again for the North London side.

He has been troubled by injury all season, having missed two months before Christmas with an ankle problem.

Van Persie, who has suffered from knee problems in the past, was not too badly injured, according to Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk.

"It didn't look very serious but it was too painful for him to carry on as he was hit by a knee just above his own knee," the coach said.


Meanwhile, veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will have to wait and see whether he will make a remarkable comeback for Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend.

The 41-year-old made his first appearance in the club colours for nearly three years when he played 90 minutes for the reserves yesterday.

In front of goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton, the former Germany international was on the end of a 2-1 away defeat by Wigan at Robin Park.

Now Wenger has to decide whether to give Lehmann the nod ahead of Gunners number one Manuel Almunia on Saturday in the home match against Blackburn Rovers.

Lehmann came out of retirement to help ease Arsenal's goalkeeping crisis after injuries to Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski left Almunia as the only fit senior man.

Almunia, 33, may have only just found himself back in the first-team picture, but the Spaniard is already under the spotlight once again after a poor performance in the 2-2 draw at West Brom on March 19.

Lehmann's last appearance for the Gunners came against Everton on May 4, 2008, ahead of a move to German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart.