Arsene Wenger has defended his decision to play Alexis Sanchez in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Norwich on Sunday, with the Chilean injuring his hamstring for the second time in less than a week.
Sanchez suffered a hamstring injury in the Gunners midweek Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb, and was in doubt for the fixture against the Canaries. However, he was named in the starting XI, but was forced to leave the field in the second half holding the same hamstring he had injured earlier in the week.
Asked after the match whether he should have rested Sanchez, Wenger said that the forward had recovered from his hamstring niggle, and with Arsenal already hard hit by injuries, he had few alternatives.
"You can say that, but at the moment on the striker front we have not a lot of choice. Because Welbeck is out, Walcott is out, Chamberlain is just coming back," he told Sky Sports.
"The players are there to play football and not to be rested and not for the press to decide if they need to be rested.
"He says it is a kick on his hamstring, I believe that is not really the reality. I fear it is not the reality.
"We checked it [Sanchez's hamstring]. When you have normal force and normal stretch there is no problem and he had that.
"Nobody is scientifically developed enough to predict when a guy will be injured. I must say with all humility we are not in a position where we can predict (injuries) despite all our tests.
"I would have rested him today but he felt alright before the game, and he declared that he had no problem."
Sanchez is not the only injury headache for Wenger, with defender Laurent Koscielny replaced after suffering a hip injury, while midfielder Santi Cazorla was forced to play on despite a knee injury as the Gunners had used all three of their substitutions.
"We have three because Cazorla played on one leg for the final part of the second half. He has a knee problem, Sanchez has a hamstring injury and Koscielny has a hip problem," Wenger explained.
"How bad it is I do not know, we will have to see in the morning."
Next on the agenda for Arsenal is a visit from Sunderland on Saturday.