Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere had an operation on damaged ankle ligaments earlier today and will be ruled out for an absolute minimum of three months.
Gunners fans were forced to accept that crushing injury news this afternoon, with Arsenal confirming that media speculation surrounding the severity of the problem picked up against Manchester United last weekend wasn't far wide of the mark.
Wilshere limed out of the 2-1 defeat after going down under a challenge from United defender, a mistimed tackle that has ultimately left the England international facing yet another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Arsenal statement confirms worst fears
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed following last night's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund that Wilshere would see a specialist on Thursday, once the swelling on his ankle had finally subsided.
The consultation delivered pretty devastating news though, with surgery carried out immediately so that the midfield maestro can begin the process of rehabilitating his left ankle yet again without delay.
Gunners now look thin in midfield
Losing the 22-year-old is the latest in a long line of injury setbacks for both Wilshere and Arsenal, who are already without Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Debuchy with long-term problems, while Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have only just returned from a broken foot and cruciate ligament injuries respectively.
Wilshere's surgery has come at a terrible time for Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines himself after damaging his calf against Dortmund, a problem which Wenger admitted looked 'serious' in his post-match press conference.
The Three Lions star is no stranger to setbacks and used his Instagram account to send out his own defiant message vowing to return, but meanwhile Wenger must now prepare to be without Wilshere for a large chunk of the campaign once more.