Ligament damage sidelines Arsenal star Van Persie

LONDON, Nov 15, 2009 (AFP) - Arsenal's Premier League title hopes suffered a setback on Sunday after star striker Robin van Persie damaged ankle ligaments during the Netherlands' 0-0 friendly draw with Italy.

Robin van Persie is treated by medics just before leaving the pitch after a tackle during their FIFA World Cup 2010 friendly football match against Italy on November 14, 2009 at Adriatico stadium in Pescara. AFP PHOTO

The 26-year-old was stretched off the pitch after being tackled by Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini 14 minutes into Saturday's game at Pescara and now faces a spell on the sidelines.

He told Dutch TV station NOS that he could miss around six weeks of action.

"Van Persie has a partially ruptured ligament," a Dutch Football Association (KNVB) official told the BBC on Sunday.

"It's a serious injury. It's impossible to put an exact time-frame on it because some players heal more quickly than others. It's not a short-term injury."

Earlier, Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said he believed the player had torn ligaments.

"It's a hard blow for him because he was in the form of his life," said van Marwijk.

Source: AFP

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