Arteta set for pain in Spain

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Football News

Everton's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta will return to his homeland next week to undergo surgery on the ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee which has ended his season.

The playmaker, 27 next month, is set to travel to Barcelona for the operation with the Toffees hoping he will be fit to return in six months' time.

"We use three surgeons - the best in Britain, the best in Europe and the best in America," said head physio Mick Rathbone. "Clearly it suits Mikel to use the Spanish guy and he is very happy with the choice. We're looking at him being out for about six months. We don't want to hurry Mikel."

Arteta was carried off just a few minutes into Sunday's goalless draw at Newcastle and was told the bad news even before a thorough medical examination confirmed the worst.

"We weren't actually waiting on the scan because we knew instantly what he had done," said Rathbone. "I said to the doctor straight away: 'That's a cruciate'.

"When he came off the pitch I spoke to Mikel and said: 'Sorry mate, but this is a bad injury,' but he knew anyway. He's not daft, he a very smart guy

"Mikel's very down, but he's a mature guy, he's a top sportsman and he knows that one of the hazards of being a top class sportsman is that you get injured.

"He is somewhat philosophical and is already talking about getting back playing next season. So we don't wallow in it, it's football, it happens. We just need to get it operated on and get him back."

Rathbone was more optimistic about the prognosis for forward Victor Anichebe, who was injured by a horror tackle from Kevin Nolan which saw the Newcastle midfielder shown a straight red card.

"Victor is extremely sore all up his shin, the outside of his ankle and his knee," the physio, who is still awaiting the results of the scan, told "We think he's okay - you never know - but I think he's just about got away with it."

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Kevin Nolan
Mikel Arteta
Premier League
Victor Anichebe

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