Arsenal's Mikel Arteta will
miss the rest of the season but does not need ankle surgery,
manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.
The Spaniard has been one of Arsenal's best players in their
surge to third place in the Premier League but they will miss
him for the final four games of the season.
"It is season over for him but he doesn't need surgery,
which is what we were scared of," Wenger said at a news
conference ahead of Saturday's crucial home game against
"So he will be out for six to eight weeks. It is an ankle
problem but just a sprain."
Better news for Arsenal is the return to the squad of
midfielder Abou Diaby, who has made just three appearances this
season after a succession of injuries.
"We still have to be a bit cautious with him because we had
so many setbacks. If all goes well he will be in the squad,"
Arsenal's surprise home defeat by Wigan Athletic on Monday
left them five points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur
and Newcastle United and seven clear of Chelsea, all of whom
have a game in hand on the Gunners.
Third place guarantees an automatic spot in the group phase
of next season's Champions League while finishing fourth would
mean a tricky play-off.
"I don't know [how many more wins we need], we just want to
win the next one," Wenger said. "I believe our target is just
that. We have to think that we have been on a great run, we have
a fantastic opportunity but we also just need to focus on the
next game and win it."
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