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Report: Arsenal's Arteta to miss rest of the season

The 30-year-old Spaniard suffered ankle ligament damage which leaves Arsenal short on numbers in the center of midfield as the season draws towards the conclusion.

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta will miss the rest of the season due to an ankle ligament damage, according to The Guardian.

The Spanish midfielder was forced off early in the game after rolling on his ankle when attempting to deliver a cross and early scans show that there is ligament damage, but no break.

""He had to come off. It's an ankle problem. It looks quite a serious one," Wenger said after the game. "We have to scan it tomorrow [Tuesday], it's too early to say tonight. But it doesn't look like a little ankle sprain. It is a serious one."

The ligament damage is expected to rule him out for the rest of the season which leaves Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger short on midfielders for the crucial upcoming games as the club tries to secure third place in the Premier League.

With Arsenal usually playing three central midfielders, Aaron Ramsey is poised to replace Arteta for the huge game with Chelsea and with Yossi Benayoun ineligible to face his parent club, Wenger may have to put Frenchman Abou Diaby on the bench after long spells on the sidelines.

Arsenal was dealt more bad news earlier in the week when Wenger confirmed Jack Wilshere will be out for the rest of the season and Euro 2012.

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