Mikel Arteta out for the rest of the season.

mikelarteta_1906048Everton have confirmed that Mikel Arteta will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate knee ligament.

Arteta was injured during the opening minutes of Everton’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.

Manager David Moyes feared the worst immediately after the match and now the club have confirmed that the Spanish midfielder will require surgery and is facing up to six months on the sidelines.

“When he came off the pitch I spoke to Mikel and said: ‘Sorry mate, but this is a bad injury,’ but he knew anyway. He’s not daft, he’s a very smart guy,” Everton’s head physio Mick Rathbone told the club’s official website.

“We’re looking at him being out for about six months. We don’t want to hurry Mikel, we don’t hurry any of the players back, but we are looking at the start of next season now.

“He’s very down, but he’s a mature guy, he’s a top sportsman and he knows that one of the hazards of being a top class sportsman is that you get injured.

“He is somewhat philosophical and is already talking about getting back playing next season.

“So we don’t wallow in it, it’s football, it happens. We just need to get it operated on and get him back.”

Surgery

Rathbone also confirmed that Arteta will go under the knife back in his homeland.

“He’s going to have surgery early next week in Barcelona,” he said.

“We use three surgeons – the best in Britain, the best in Europe and the best in America. Clearly it suits Mikel to use the Spanish guy and he is very happy with the choice.”

The news is a huge blow to Everton, who are currently stand sixth in the Premier League table, 10 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The Toffees are also still in the FA Cup, where they will face West Ham or Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals, and Moyes’s threadbare squad can ill-afford to lose one of its key members.

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~ by awbroady on February 24, 2009.

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