Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confessed playmaker Emile Smith Rowe may have picked up a hamstring injury in Sunday's 3-1 win over relegated West Bromwich Albion.
The 20-year-old started the game and scored his first Premier League goal with a composed volley midway through the first half, but he was withdrawn shortly after an hour mark.
Speaking after the game, Arteta confirmed Smith Rowe had complained of pain in his hamstring and admitted that the midfielder has been dealing with a long-term issue in that area since his arrival in the Premier League.
"He felt something in his hamstring so we took him off," Arteta said (via the club's official website). "Sometimes he cramps and that's something that's been happening for a while because he's still adapting to the league, to the amount of games every three days. Hopefully it's nothing major."
It was obviously a disappointing end to a big occasion for Smith Rowe, who has blossomed into a core part of the Arsenal set-up this season, but Arteta was adamant that this is just the first of many goals for the talented youngster.
"It says a lot in terms of where we are. He's having an incredible season ever since he started to play in December," he continued. "But he's scoring his first Premier League goal. An incredible season for a No 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give ten assists. Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league.
"He's got the ability to do it but he hasn't done it. We need to stay calm with him, give him the right support and step by step I think he will be getting there."
Smith Rowe's involvement in Wednesday's meeting with Chelsea is now in doubt, but Arteta confirmed that the injured trio of David Luiz, Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari will all be given the chance to return for that game.
"Let's see how they recover," he added. "Again, we've lost so many players in recent weeks, so many big players. They have a huge effect in the team and it will be great because we have a very difficult game against [Chelsea]."