Alexis Sanchez could be back for Arsenal NEXT weekend

Sanchez was tipped for a lengthy spell on the sidelines
Sanchez was tipped for a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Arsene Wenger has refused to rule Alexis Sanchez out of Arsenal's crunch Premier League clash with Manchester City, despite reports that he could be out of action for the rest of 2015

The Chile forward is out of action with a hamstring problem but is due to return to training on Monday - one week before City visit the Emirates Stadium in a match which could swing the balance of an ever-changing title race.

Sanchez, 26, picked up his injury in the 1-1 draw at Norwich a fortnight ago with Wenger having to defend his decision to play the former Barcelona man after revealing his hamstring had been affecting him leading up to the game at Carrow Road.

The Gunners have seven first-team regulars out of the picture due to injuries, but Sanchez is unquestionably the most valuable asset Wenger has on the shelf.

There is no way he will return in time for Sunday's trip to bottom side Aston Villa but the Arsenal boss said, with the type of player Sanchez is, he could be involved against Manuel Pellegrini's side on December 21.

"He is back on Sunday, he trains on Monday morning at 9.30am," Wenger revealed.

"He is running already... I sent him back to Chile, where he has been running with the physio of the national team, and we will see what kind of state he is in next week.

"He may be a bit short for City, certainly, but with Alexis you never know."

The return of Sanchez could provide Arsenal with a huge pre-Christmas boost, but midfielder Jack Wilshere has been ruled out of making a comeback until the New Year.