Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of the Carling Cup final on Sunday after suffering a hamstring injury.

The midfielder picked up the injury in the 1-0 win over Stoke on Wednesday and joins Theo Walcott on the injury table for the Wembley final against Birmingham.

“It is a very small injury but certainly Cesc will be out for Sunday,” said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. “For how long [beyond that] I don’t know.”

Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are expected to be fit.

The trio missed the Stoke game with hamstring, back and calf problems respectively, although Diaby was also suspended, but Wenger said all three would be available.

Fabregas led Arsenal to a blistering start at the Emirates on Wednesday but left the field after just 14 minutes to be replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

“He is disappointed,” added Wenger. “We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition.”

Wenger would not be drawn on whether the Spanish 23-year-old would be fit in time to face Barcelona on 8 March.

“It is very difficult to give a deadline,” he said. “It is impossible.”

Winger Walcott will also miss the final after being carried off on a stretcher in the Stoke game and Wenger revealed he is a doubt for the trip to Barcelona.

“He has a classic ankle sprain,” said the manager. “We don’t think there is any more damage to it, but it is still a sprain.

“We are sad for him too. He is out for Sunday and maybe one or two weeks more.”

The French boss said there were no other fitness problems as the club go looking for their first piece of silverware since winning the FA Cup in 2005.

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