As Arsenal prepare to venture forth for the second time in seven days on the scabby, pock-marked, divot-laden, no-man’s land, swampheap of an excuse of a pitch at the Stadium of Light, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker is likely to miss much of the rest of the season.
The BFG got nobbled by the Sunderland pitch last weekend, and the manager says the prognisis is not good. Speaking to the official site, he said, “Unfortunately he has had surgery and we have lost him for a while. How long I don’t know. He had reconstruction of his ligaments. So it will be long term.”
If we use Andre Santos as a guide, who suffered a very similar injury, it could be three months, but when Robin van Persie had reconstructive surgery on his ankle ligaments the club said he’d be out for four to five months. Either way it looks as if it’ll be next season before we see our glorious German ent in red and white again.
He’ll be a big miss in the centre of our defence, his organisation skills immediately apparent on Wednesday when a decent, but hardly brilliant, AC Milan side had Vermaelen and Koscielny, then Djourou, running hither and tither like the housekeeper from Tom and Jerry whenever Jerry got into the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny misses tomorrow’s game having suffered a knee injury in Milan but could be back for next weekend’s North London derby. That means a central pairing of Djourmaelen will have to improve vastly on their midweek display if Arsenal are to progress in the cup.
There is some good news though as Gervinho, boosted by his heart-breaking penalty shoot-out miss in the African Cup of Nations from Africa final, returns to the squad and should go straight back into the starting line-up.
Carl Jenkinson also returns to full training on Monday having spent 3 months out with a stress fracture of his spine.