London: Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil will not be fit until the new year at the earliest, he said on Thursday.
The German international suffered a knee ligament injury early in October and had hoped to be back by Christmas.
"I have already been out for five weeks and will be out for another seven weeks," Ozil said at a sponsor`s event in Berlin.
"That is a really long time but that is the way it is in football sometimes. My head is held high and we look forward."
Arsenal have a number of other injury problems, with French internationals Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy all out at present.
Following defeat by Swansea City on Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger was quoted as having given up hope of winning the Premier League, in which his team are in sixth place, 12 points behind unbeaten leaders Chelsea after 11 games.