Premier League • England

Emile Smith Rowe: Arsenal star ruled out of World Cup and faces lengthy absence after groin surgery

Arsenal trio Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Nuno Tavares

Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe will not return to full training until December after being forced to undergo groin surgery that will see him miss the Qatar World Cup.

The 22-year-old has been playing through the issue for some time but it’s led to him only being involved sporadically for the Gunners at the start of the new campaign.

He was handed brief cameos off the bench against Leicester, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Manchester United. But that totalled just 47 minutes, and the game at United was where the groin problem intensified.

Arsenal wanted to initially avoid the player going under the knife. However, after the warm-down at Old Trafford, Smith Rowe looked visibly upset when he headed back to the changing rooms.

The north London club then revealed that the player had suffered a setback which brought about surgery.

He will now be out of action until the end of the year and will miss out on the World Cup with England.

A statement from Arsenal confirmed: “In recent months, Emile Smith Rowe has been experiencing discomfort in his groin, which has limited his training and match appearances.

“Following a significant setback at our Premier League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 4, and after further specialist consultations and discussions with our medical team, Emile underwent surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin.

“This successful surgery took place in London in the past few days and Emile’s rehabilitation programme is already underway. We are hopeful that Emile will return to full training in December.

“Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Emile to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”

Recovering Smith Rowe to miss multiple games

Smith Rowe is expected to miss 13 games for Arsenal across the next two months. That begins with Saturday’s big north London derby clash.

The earliest Smith Rowe is likely to return is on Boxing Day against London rivals West Ham.

His absence will give Arteta somewhat of a headache as the fixtures come thick and fast.

Arsenal do not have a single midweek free in the lead up to the World Cup. Domestic fixtures and European games means Arteta’s squad will be pushed to its limits.

One player Arteta hopes will be fit for this weekend is Thomas Partey.

The midfielder was injured on international duty with Ghana, although the problem has not been identified.

There is an expectation, however, that Partey will be fit enough to take on Antonio Conte’s men.

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