By Chris Harris

Cesc Fabregas will be out for "three to four months" after suffering a serious knee injury against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Arsenal captain was hurt in a challenge with Liverpool's Xabi Alonso at Emirates Stadium and hobbled off the pitch at half-time. Arsène Wenger hoped Fabregas' spell on the sidelines would be limited to a matter of weeks but his worst fears were realised after the Spaniard went for a scan on Monday.

"The news is not good because it is a partial rupture of the medial knee ligament which is taking three to four months injury time," revealed Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "We count four, we know he will be working very hard to come back earlier but I count four months.

"How much [we will miss him] is difficult to say, the only thing we can say for sure is that we will miss him of course. We have to find a way to compensate for the fact he will not be on the pitch, and give everybody a bit more. I am sure we can deal with it. When he comes back he can help us to get over the line in the final months.

"It is a blow [to lose him] of course, but we can show we have the strengths to deal with it. Of course it is a blow to lose Fabregas in the middle of the season - for four months - but it is a good opportunity to show we can deal with it and have the needed strengths."

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23 Dec 2008