Mikel Arteta has been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury after limping off in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Wigan on Monday.


Arteta was forced to leave the pitch just nine minutes into the Gunners shock defeat at the Emirates Stadium, with the Spaniard leaving the ground on crutches.


Scans later revealed that, while the former Everton midfielder hadn’t suffered any broken bones, the ligament damage he had sustained is serious enough to rule him out for Arsenal’s last four games of the season.


After the game Arsenal boss admitted that he feared the injury was a serious one that could end Arteta’s season, something which has subsequently been proven true.


"It is an ankle problem. It looks quite a serious one. It is too early to say tonight. But it doesn't look a little ankle sprain. It is a serious one," Wenger told reporters.


Arsenal face a crucial game in the race for a top four spot against Chelsea on Saturday, before their remaining three games of the season which sees them take on Stoke, Norwich and West Brom.


With Jack Wilshere unlikely to be fit before the end of the season, Abou Diaby struggling with injury and Yossi Benayoun ineligible, Wenger faces a midfield selection headache ahead of the game with Chelsea.


Arsenal currently occupy third spot in the Premier League, five points clear of rivals Tottenham in fourth and a further two points clear of Chelsea, although they have played a game more.


With Tottenham going up against relegation-threatened QPR later on Saturday, the increasingly tight battle for a top four finish could make for uncomfortable reading for Arsenal come Sunday morning.

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