London - Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has been ruled out for 12 weeks, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Tuesday.
Coquelin suffered a knee ligament injury during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and scans have now revealed the extent of the problem.
Speaking after Arsenal's vital 3-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Wenger said he doesn't expect the Frenchman back until the new year.
"Coquelin's injury is what we feared basically," Wenger said.
"We had the scan. Lets be realistic and say 12 weeks.
"He doesn't need a surgery. It is a medial knee ligament."
Coquelin will miss vital Premier League matches against Manchester City on December 21 and at Liverpool on January 13.
But Wenger can take heart from the return of Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey as a second half substitute against Dinamo.
Ramsey had been out for a month with a hamstring injury.