Arsene Wenger suggests Alexandre Lacazette's recent struggles in front of goal for Arsenal could be explained by the knee injury which has seen him ruled out for at least a month.
Arsenal announced on Tuesday that Lacazette faces a spell on the sidelines after having a "minor" operation on his left knee.
The news came as something of a shock given Lacazette's 25-minute cameo in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday, with the striker not appearing to be in any discomfort during the match.
Lacazette's condition even took Wenger by surprise and the manager considers it a "massive blow", though he did speculate the injury may go some way to explaining the striker's poor form.
The former Lyon man has scored just two goals since the start of December and could potentially have to wait until April to return to action with Arsenal due to the international break at the end of March.
"He got a surprising swell of the knee after the game against Tottenham and needed surgery, very quick surgery, and he will be out for the next four or five weeks," Wenger told beIN SPORTS. "It's a massive blow for us, but we have to find a solution.
"Nobody could predict that, but football is as well to do with unpredicted things and it's always a good opportunity to find someone who steps in and does well.
"Lacazette is down, but I think he recently must've felt something in his knee, I don't know. Maybe as well that's an explanation why he was not scoring as many goals as he's used to."
However, Lacazette assured fans that the surgery was a success and that he will be back "stronger" than before.
He wrote on his official Instagram account: "Thank you everyone for your messages, I will be not on the pitch for few weeks because I feel pain on my knee. The surgery went well. A good recovery before I come back stronger."
Merci a tous pour vos msg de soutien , je m'absente des terrains pour quelques semaines a cause d'une douleur au genou, l'operation s'est bien passee donc une bonne reeducation avant de revenir plus fort Thank you everyone for your messages , i Will be not on the pitch for few weeks because i feel pain on my knee, the surgery went Well.. a good recovery before Come back Stonger #Coyg #BeTogether #TeamLaca