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."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Dec 2008