Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck will face another nine months on the sidelines after injuring his right knee against Manchester City last weekend.
It means Welbeck will miss the upcoming European Championships with England and a significant part of next season with Arsenal.
The 25-year-old forward had already missed seven months of this campaign with an injury to his left knee. But he had made great strides in his return since Valentine’s Day, scoring five goals in 16 games; including the last minute winner against league champions Leicester City.
Welbeck unable to escape injury woes
Tests revealed he’d suffered "significant cartilage damage”, however it’s not the same knee injury that caused him to miss the start of this season.
Initial estimates had said the former Manchester United player would only miss three to six months, but the surgery has pushed back a possible return until February 2017.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had said he was “worried” post match on Sunday, and now may be forced to look into the market for a replacement in the summer with the out of sorts Olivier Giroud Arsenal’s only remaining striker.
Although the Frenchman scored in the game against City last weekend, it was his first league goal since January and he has been horribly out of form since.
Another blow for England
England manager Roy Hodgson will also be without one of his most reliable players for Euro 2016.
Welbeck was England’s second top scorer in qualifying with six goals in five matches, including the winner against Switzerland to start the perfect campaign.
Welbeck’s teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also ruled out of the tournament last week with a knee injury too.
The forward has already taken to social media to declare: "I will be back stronger!" However, another nine-month lay-off is a huge blow to his Arsenal career that has been plagued by injuries since joining in August 2015.