Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed Mikel Arteta will be sidelined for at least a further three months after undergoing ankle surgery.
Arteta has been suffering inflammation and discomfort due to a bony spur on his left ankle and it was decided the Arsenal captain required an operation to correct the problem.
The 32-year-old has not played for the Gunners since the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the end of November, and Wenger has now confirmed the Spaniard is set for an extended period out.
He told the club’s official website: “Mikel has had surgery which went well. I have just seen him, he is back with us at the training ground.
“He had a limited mobility in his ankle and some persistent inflammation that had an impact on his calf.
“That meant we had to make the decision to have surgery and it’s a proper solution which gives him the best chance to recover.”
Arteta will now miss a number of crucial games for Arsenal including the Champions League last-16 tie against French outfit Monaco, as well as fixtures against top four rivals Spurs, West Ham and Liverpool.
If he does manage to recover in time for the final run-in, Arteta could play in Arsenal’s final six Premier League games, starting with the visit of Sunderland on April 18.
The Gunners face a tough trip to Manchester City on Sunday and they are 4.20 to take all three points or 13.00 to win 2-0.