Van Persie sidelined

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Arsenal striker Robin van Persie expects to miss up to six weeks after tests in Holland confirmed he has torn ankle ligaments.

Van Persie was carried off in the Oranje's friendly against Italy on Saturday night after a heavy challenge from the Azzurri's Giorgio Chiellini.

Van Persie told Dutch television programme Studio Voetbal: "I have had a scan. I am probably out for between four and six weeks."

He did, however, absolve Juventus defender Chiellini of blame, adding: "There was no intent."

The 26-year-old is a key player for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and his absence could seriously harm the club's Barclays Premier League title bid.

Van Persie lasted just 10 minutes of last night's game in Pescara with Holland boss Bert van Marwijk revealing afterwards: "The first diagnosis is a bad ankle injury.

"It's terrible for Robin and is not good for Holland or his club."

The Dutchman has scored eight goals in 15 games in all competitions for Arsenal this season and emerged as one of the Gunners' key figures.

His injury comes at a bad time for Wenger, whose attacking stocks have also been reduced by Nicklas Bendtner's groin injury, which he picked up in the recent 3-0 north London derby win against Tottenham.

Bendtner is expected to be out for at least another two weeks.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Robin Van Persie
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