Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin could be sidelined for up to nine months after rupturing knee ligaments in Saturday’s win over Chelsea, the Gunners have confirmed.
Bellerin went down unchallenged during the second half of Arsenal’s 2-0 victory and was carried off on a stretcher.
The 23-year-old was making his first start since mid-December having overcome a calf problem, but will now miss the remainder of the season, and possibly the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
Arsenal revealed the severity of Bellerin’s injury on Tuesday morning with a statement on their website.
“Further to the injury sustained during our match against Chelsea on Saturday, we can confirm that Hector has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee,” it read.
“Hector will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months and therefore rules Hector out of action for the remainder of this season.
“Everyone at the club will now be working as hard as we can to ensure Hector is back on the pitch as soon as possible next season.”
The Spaniard becomes the third season-ending injury for Unai Emery to deal with, following on from Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding both suffering serious blows earlier on in the season.
Welbeck hurt his ankle against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League during a 0-0 draw at the Emirates, whilst Holding sustained a knee injury against Manchester United during the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
Arsenal are a football club that have had serious injury problems over the past few years, with players such as Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Welbeck himself, and many others missing large portions of seasons due to knocks and niggles.
Bellerin, Holding and Welbeck now being sidelined for months is just another serious blow for the club to deal with.