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Van Persie faces six-week lay-off

Robin van Persie
Van Persie has scored eight goals in his last 11 Arsenal matches

By David Ornstein

Arsenal's Robin van Persie is set to be out of action for up to six weeks after partially rupturing ankle ligaments while on international duty.

The Netherlands forward was stretchered off 10 minutes into his country's friendly against Italy on Saturday.

The 26-year-old had a scan to assess the extent of the injury and has been told he will not require surgery.

"The prognosis is that I will be out for four to six weeks," Van Persie told Dutch television station NOS.

He will be treated in Amsterdam by renowned ankle specialist Professor Niek van Dijk, who has previously worked with Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Michael Owen.

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Giorgio Chiellini's challenge left Van Persie rolling around in agony but, after being examined by medical staff at the Adriatico Stadium, he flew home with the Netherlands squad and spent the night with his family in Rotterdam.

A Dutch Football Association (KNVB) official told BBC Sport that Van Persie had a partially ruptured ligament.

"It's a serious injury," the KNVB official said, following concerns that Van Persie had broken his ankle. "We don't know how long it will take him to recover from it.

"It's impossible to put an exact timeframe on it because some players heal more quickly than others. It's not a short-term injury."

Van Persie's career in north London has been interrupted by a succession of injuries - he broke toe in January 2006, fractured a metatarsal in January 2007 and damaged a knee on international duty in October 2007.

Robin van Persie
Van Persie has been a key player for Arsenal this season

After enjoying a relatively injury-free 2008-09 season, he has started all of Arsenal's Premier League games this season, is their second-highest scorer with eight goals and also has eight assists.

All of Van Persie's goals have come in the last 11 games and the former Feyenoord forward has helped propel Arsenal to within five points of Premier League leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

His absence leaves the Gunners short in attack, with Nicklas Bendtner sidelined until mid-December following minor groin surgery and Theo Walcott nursing a knee ligament problem.

Arsenal are also currently without the injured Gael Clichy and Denilson.

Any lengthy absence for Van Persie will also be felt by the Dutch as they prepare for the 2010 World Cup.



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see also
Saturday football as it happened
14 Nov 09 |  Football
Bendtner faces four-week lay-off
31 Oct 09 |  Arsenal
Van Persie signs new Arsenal deal
08 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal hit by Van Persie injury
21 Jan 07 |  Arsenal
Arsenal hit by Van Persie injury
10 Jan 06 |  Arsenal
Arsenal sign Van Persie
28 Apr 04 |  Arsenal


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