Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker out for ‘long term’ after surgery

Per Mertesacker has had surgery on his ankle

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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is set to be sidelined for the “long term” after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury, it was confirmed on Friday.

Mertesacker picked up the injury during last weekend’s Premier League encounter against Sunderland, and manager Arsene Wenger is now resigned to losing him for the foreseeable future.

The Germany international faces a battle to return before the end of the season, and could even be a doubt for the Euro 2012 Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

“Unfortunately he has had surgery and we have lost him for a while,” Wenger said. “How long I don’t know. He had reconstruction of his ligaments. So it will be long term.”

Wenger has further defensive worries going into the weekend’s FA Cup fifth round clash against Sunderland, with Laurent Koscielny unavailable for the game at the Stadium of Light due to a slight knee concern.

“He had a scan yesterday and the news is quite good,” Wenger revealed. “He will be out for hopefully around a week. He will miss the Sunderland game. But he should be back for next week.”

However, Carl Jenkinson is back in full training and Kieran Gibbs is available despite playing his first game in four months against AC Milan in midweek. Forward Gervinho is also cleared for selection after returning from African Nations Cup duty.

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