Jack Wilshere faces lengthy lay-off after surgery on ankle
Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere will be sidelined for up to five months following surgery to remedy a stress fracture to his right ankle.
Wilshere has not featured for the Gunners in a competitive game this season after suffering the injury in a pre-season friendly against the New York Red Bulls at the Emirates Stadium.
A statement on the club's official website last night said: "Jack Wilshere has this morning undergone ankle surgery at a central London hospital. Under the care of two world-renowned surgeons, Jack has had the stress fracture of his right ankle repaired.
"Initial indications are that the surgery has been successful and Jack will now undergo a prolonged period of rehabilitation.
"It is envisaged that Jack's rehabilitation will ultimately take a period of four to five months."
Wilshere had initially hoped that the problem would not require surgery but the club confirmed last week that an operation would be necessary.
Wilshere added on the official website: "I've had my operation this morning and all went well. My ankle is little bit sore, but I'm already looking forward to working hard to get fit and playing again."
The Gunners' prognosis means Wilshere may not play competitively for the club until late February.
There was further bad news for the Gunners yesterday when striker Robin van Persie revealed he was in no hurry to commit his long-term future to the club.
Van Persie hit his 100th Arsenal goal in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Bolton, and the continued good form of the new skipper could be the key to turning around the Gunners' poor start to the season. The 28-year-old is understood to have sought assurances from manager Arsene Wenger that the club's future was still bright following the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who refused to extend his contract and was sold to Manchester City.
Wenger could be faced with a similar problem to the Nasri one if Van Persie does not sign an extension to his current contract, which expires in 2013, but the Dutchman insists talks are on the backburner for the time being.