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Arsenal striker Robin van Persie faces five months out

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

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie will be sidelined for up to five months after being told he needs an operation on his injured ankle ligaments.

Van Persie, 26, who suffered the injury while playing for the Netherlands on 14 November, was initially expected to be out for about six weeks.

However, scans have revealed the injury is worse than originally feared.

"Robin will undergo surgery next week in Amsterdam to reconstruct the ligaments," said a club statement.

"The club's medical team anticipate that a full recovery will take between four and five months."

Van Persie, was stretchered off 10 minutes into the friendly against Italy, following the challenge by defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 0-0 draw.

He has scored eight goals in 15 games in all competitions this season but he is not expected to play again until the end of March at the earliest.

The ligaments in my ankle were completely ruptured. That's why the treatment in Serbia, we know now, never had the chance to be successful

Robin van Persie

Van Persie, who had his ankle put in plaster on Friday, said: "If I had known at the time what I know now, I would have been operated on immediately.

"We have all been steered in the wrong direction."

However, he does not regret flying to Serbia to have placenta fluid dripped on his injured ankle by specialist Mariana Kovacevic in an effort to cure him.

Van Persie added: "In the area of torn muscles and partly torn ligaments she has treated players in the majority of cases with success.

"A number of Liverpool and Chelsea players have all benefited from her treatments. They were all back on the pitch in a very short time.

"As I was enjoying a fantastic period with Arsenal and the first official diagnosis from the doctors was that I would be out for six weeks, I wanted to bring that period back to three or four weeks.

"But the ligaments in my ankle were completely ruptured. That's why the treatment in Serbia, we know now, never had the chance to be successful from the start."

His lengthy absence will also be felt by the Dutch as they prepare for the 2010 World Cup which starts on 11 June.

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

After enjoying a relatively injury-free 2008-09 season, he has started all of Arsenal's Premier League games this season, and, along with his eight goals, 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.

Arsenal are also currently without injured left-backs Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs.



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see also
Van Persie faces five months out
28 Nov 09 |  Arsenal
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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