Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey has surgery to fix broken leg
Stoke's Glenn Whelan attends to Aaron Ramsey following the tackle
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey has undergone surgery to fix fractures to his tibia and fibula in his right leg suffered during Saturday's 3-1 win at Stoke.
The 19-year-old Wales international was stretchered off after a tackle by Ryan Shawcross, who was sent off for the challenge and left the field in tears.
A statement on the Arsenal website said Saturday's operation was successful but no timescale has been set for recovery.
Midfielder Ramsey has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
After Saturday's match Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger branded the tackle on Ramsey as "not acceptable".
But Shawcross later expressed his sympathy for Ramsey and said in a statement: "There was absolutely no malice in the challenge."
He added: "I would never go out to hurt a fellow professional. I am deeply upset that Aaron has suffered such a bad injury and my thoughts are with him.
"I would like to send him my best wishes too for a speedy recovery."
Wenger fury over "horrendous tackle" on Ramsey
Players from both sides were visibly shaken by the incident, which was not replayed on live television and the shocking injury had echoes of Ramsey's team-mate Eduardo who broke his leg at Birmingham two years ago.
Wenger, who also lost Abou Diaby to a similar injury in 2006 at Sunderland, said: "To see a young boy of 19-years old be injured like that - it's just not acceptable."
"We will know how long he will be out later but he will be out for a long time."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis also rejected there was any malice involved and stoutly defended Shawcross, who just hours later was named in Fabio Capello's England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Egypt.
"Ryan Shawcross is a young lad, he hasn't got a bad bit of blood in him," said Pulis. "He's got changed and his mum has taken him home, I have not seen him. He'll be devastated.
"It's a poor challenge, and we're absolutely devastated and disappointed for Aaron and everyone associated with Arsenal football club."
Ramsey's injury comes two years and four days after Eduardo's leg-break, which resulted from a Martin Taylor tackle in a Premier League draw at St Andrew's.
The Croatia international spent more than a year on the sidelines, and his absence during the final months of the 2007/8 season was considered a key factor in Arsenal's failed title assault that year as they eventually finished third.
"It's not our first player to get an horrendous injury," Wenger said.
"I don't believe in coincidences. We had Diaby, we had Eduardo and we now have Ramsey - it's too difficult to take."
Shawcross devastated by injury to Ramsey - Pulis
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas also expressed his anguish but was adamant this fresh setback would not hamper this season's run-in.
"We learned from when it happened to Eduardo, we lost a lead that day," said the Spaniard.
Speaking about the result at the Britannia Stadium he added: "It's very difficult to stand up but we showed character and knew if we won we still had a lot to say [in the title race]."
The home side had taken an eighth-minute lead when Danny Pugh headed in from Rory Delap's long throw-in but Nicklas Bendtner levelled in the 32nd minute with a fine header before a Fabregas penalty gave Arsenal the lead as the game entered seven minutes of injury time.
Thomas Vermaelen then sealed the points three minutes later for Wenger's men, who appeared galvanised by the shocking events earlier on and joined for a team huddle on the final whistle.
The win moves third-placed Arsenal to within two points of Manchester United and three of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
But while Wenger was understandably pleased with his side's fightback, it was scant consolation to him because of Ramsey's predicament.
"I'm very proud of my team," he said. "I'm proud and sad - proud of the attitude and character of the players to come back and win 3-1 against this Stoke side you need to be special, but sad because of what happened to Aaron Ramsey."
Ramsey joined Arsenal in June, 2008, as a highly-rated 17-year-old for £5m from Cardiff City.
He has made 29 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring four times.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.