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Ramsey vows to return 'stronger'

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey lies injured after the tackle by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross
Ramsey suffered the injury during Arsenal's Premier League win at Stoke

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has vowed to return "fitter and stronger" from the horrifying broken leg he suffered against Stoke last weekend.

Speaking for the first time about the injury, the 19-year-old thanked Stoke's Glenn Whelan for his help at the time.

But he did not mention Ryan Shawcross, whose tackle caused the injury.

"It is difficult for me to take it all in at the moment," he said. "I thought I had been progressing well so this is a real setback. It's hard to take."

Fortunately for the promising Welshman, the fractured fibula and tibia he suffered is not thought to be career-threatening.

Angry Wenger demands fair tackles

However, in the statement, released through the club, he does not address Shawcross, who left the field in tears after the incident and later contacted Ramsey to apologise.

Still, Ramsey, who has not set a timeframe on his return after undergoing surgery on the leg last weekend, thanked Whelan (who comforted him on the pitch), the Stoke City medical staff, Arsenal for their support and the club's fans.

And he is keen to look to the positives as he begins his recovery.

"I am young and have time on my side," he said. "While it will take time for my leg to heal, I am determined and focused on overcoming this injury and hope to be back fitter and stronger than before.

"I remember what happened clearly and after the tackle went in I saw that my leg was broken and hanging at an angle," Ramsey said. "I have seen images of the aftermath of the collision but I don't want to dwell too much on the challenge as I can't change what has happened."

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Manager Arsene Wenger, though, is less keen to move on.

Last week the Frenchman described the tackle as "horrendous and unacceptable" and, speaking on Friday, he stood by his criticism of the challenge as well as Stoke's tactics last week.

"I stand by what I said 100%," he said. "I can understand people want to be committed against us, and I have no problem with that.

"I love the commitment of the English game. I don't want to change that and it makes the game even more attractive, but high commitment demands fair intention as well.

"I admire a great technical tackle as much as a creative pass.

"We have some good tacklers in this league, some who are not good - but that does not mean you go into it trying to break a leg.

"I am continuing to defend the values that I believe are important for our club and football.

Shawcross & Pulis contact Ramsey

"That doesn't mean we are angels and everyone else is the devil. It is for everybody."

The same doctor who operated on Eduardo after the Arsenal forward's similar injury two years ago carried out last week's surgery on Ramsey.

And Wenger hopes the youngster will eventually make a full recovery, saying: "The first signs are good.

"But of course, mentally, Aaron is very down. It is difficult to take, he was just coming into the team on a regular basis."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis, meanwhile, revealed on Thursday that he and Shawcross had contacted Ramsey and would remain in touch throughout the midfielder's rehabilitation.

"It was very, very important that we got hold of the lad as quickly as possible and spoke to him," said Pulis. "We will continue to keep in contact with him through his recovery period.

"I don't think it is an incident we want to bring up again.

"It was an awkward challenge, not a dirty challenge. I think we have to move on and that is what we'll do."



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see also
Shawcross & Pulis contact Ramsey
04 Mar 10 |  Stoke
Coates backs defender Shawcross
01 Mar 10 |  Stoke
Stoke team-mates defend Shawcross
28 Feb 10 |  Stoke
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Shawcross named in England squad
27 Feb 10 |  Football
Stoke 1-3 Arsenal
27 Feb 10 |  Premier League


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