LONDON: Aaron Ramsey`s return for Arsenal has been put on hold with the Welshman still not fully recovered from the thigh injury that has sidelined him since December.
With a growing injury list manager Arsene Wenger had hoped Ramsey, Arsenal`s star performer earlier in the season, would be fit for Sunday`s vital north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur.
"We have had to defer his comeback to full training a little so he is not available," Wenger said on Thursday.
"He is having difficulties in the final stages of his rehab. It looks to be short-term."
Record signing Mesut Ozil is also ruled out with a hamstring injury sustained in the Champions League defeat exit against Bayern Munich in midweek.
Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere are also long-term absentees, putting a huge strain on Arsenal`s resources as they try and stay in the Premier League title race.
"(Ozil) is out. I don`t know for how long but it is a hamstring injury. There are scans going on," Wenger said.
By the time third-placed Arsenal face Spurs on Sunday they could find themselves 10 points behind leaders Chelsea who are in action against Aston Villa on Saturday.