Gabriel Jesus was forced to watch on as Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup on Sunday by Liverpool following yet another profligate display.
Reports of his absence surfaced well in advance of the official team news, with Mikel Arteta opting to deploy Kai Havertz as the Gunners' leading man up top. While the German played a role without the ball in establishing Gooner superiority, Havertz proved wasteful in front of goal as he failed to score with six attempts.
Havertz's utilisation alongside Martin Odegaard as dual tens could prove to be a useful tactical ploy during the second half of the season, although such slick possession play the dynamic facilitated will continue to mean little if their dire form in the final third persists.
Jesus has been one of Arsenal's primary culprits when it comes to wasting chances this season, and the Brazilian could be set for another period on the sidelines.
Why Gabriel Jesus missed Arsenal's FA Cup defeat to Liverpool
After tearing his ACL at the 2022 World Cup, Jesus underwent surgery in the summer which was meant to fully resolve the issue. However, the Brazilian's knee is still bothering him and Arteta confirmed this is why he was absent on Sunday.
Speaking after the defeat, the Spaniard said: "He [Jesus] had some pain in his knee. We have done a scan that shows something."
While several media outlets as well as Arteta himself believe Jesus' latest setback won't be a major one, the full extent of the injury will be revealed in the coming days. If the injury proves to be minor, Jesus should be in contention for the Gunners' next Premier League outing at home to Crystal Palace on 20 January.
Arteta said he expects the striker to present for the club's warm-weather training camp in Dubai during the Premier League's winter break.
Even if Jesus doesn't miss any upcoming action, calls for a new striker are set to be widespread over the next couple of weeks. Arteta, though, said that a new addition to his forward line "doesn't look realistic".