La­cazette out for up to 6 weeks

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS - AFP/AP

LON­DON: Arse­nal striker Alexan­dre La­cazette will be out of ac­tion for up to six weeks af­ter un­der­go­ing an op­er­a­tion on his left knee, the club said on Tues­day.

The 26-year-old had an arthroscopy in Lon­don and the pro­ce­dure was de­scribed as a “suc­cess” by the Gun­ners.

“The mi­nor pro­ce­dure was a suc­cess and he will now un­dergo a pe­riod of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion,” said a state­ment on the club’s web­site.

“It is en­vis­aged that he will re­turn to the squad within four to six weeks.”

Arse­nal signed La­cazette from Lyon for a then club-record £46.5 mil­lion in July last year and he had a bright start to his ca­reer in Lon­don but has only scored once in 13 matches since De­cem­ber.

He is the club’s top scorer this sea­son with nine goals and net­ted twice for France in their friendly against Ger­many in Novem­ber.

The tim­ing of his in­jury could not be worse for the for­ward, with Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang ar­riv­ing at the club last month for a new record fee of £56 mil­lion.

But Aubameyang is in­el­i­gi­ble to play in the Europa League, leav­ing Arse­nal short of op­tions in at­tack for the first leg of the knock­out tie (last 32) against Oster­sunds in Swe­den on Thurs­day.

La­cazette will also miss the sec­ond leg a week later, as well as the League Cup fi­nal against Manch­ester City on Feb 25.

Mean­while, the Europa League is the only Euro­pean tro­phy AC Mi­lan have not won, yet there’s more at stake for the Ital­ian pow­er­house.

Once treated with con­tempt by heavy­weights, Europe’s sec­ond tier com­pe­ti­tion car­ries more value since Uefa’s de­ci­sion to award a Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fy­ing place to the win­ners, which started with the 2015-16 sea­son.

Af­ter a poor start to the sea­son, heavy spend­ing Mi­lan are show­ing signs of im­prove­ment un­der new coach Gen­naro Gat­tuso.

But still sev­enth in Serie A, win­ning the Europa League might be the best op­tion for the seven-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons to re­turn to the Cham­pi­ons League.

Mi­lan face Bul­garia’s Lu­do­gorets Raz­grad in the round of 32 to­day.

REUTERS

Arse­nal’s Alexan­dre La­cazette.

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