Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted relief over the extent of Robin van Persie's ankle injury.

While the loss of Holland striker Van Persie for at least six weeks with ankle ligament damage is a major blow, Wenger knows it could have been much worse.

Wenger said: "We knew when Robin came out with this injury that he would be out for a long time, but frankly I feared it would be more because the first news was very, very bad. So it was a relief that he would be out for six weeks.

"Of course it is a disappointment and something we did not want, but I feel we have enough strength to compensate for his absence for a while.

"It will also allow him to be fresh for when he comes back."

On the subject of Kieran Gibbs, he added: "Our medical staff called me saying he was in hospital in Lithuania with a suspected broken metatarsal.

"Later on, it was much better news.

"He will still be out for Sunderland, but maybe we could have him back for (the Champions League clash with) Standard Liege on Tuesday."