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Van Persie out for five months

Arsenal's title chances were dealt a hammer blow with the news that Robin van Persie will have surgery on his ankle next week which could see him miss over five months of football.

The Holland striker tore ankle ligaments during his country's 0-0 draw with Italy in Pescara on November 14 and the 26-year-old was originally expected to be out of action for just four to six weeks with the injury.

However, after further review the Arsenal medical team decided that van Persie's injury would require surgery and will be on the sidelines until at least April. The Dutch striker is reported to have underwent radical therapy including placenta massage in Serbia in an attempt to speed up his recovery.

The news will come as a huge blow to Arsene Wenger with van Persie's injury coming when the striker appeared to be in the form of his life having scored seven league goals this season.

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