Cape Town - Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney is facing a long time on the sidelines after undergoing a successful shoulder operation.
The Scottish international, a summer signing from Celtic on transfer deadline day after a long pursuit, dislocated his shoulder in the win over West Ham back on December 9, the only win under caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg.
Having now undergone an operation on the problem, the 22-year-old will be out for up to three months which is a major blow for both the player and the club.
The left-back has not had the best start to his Gunners career as he picked up a hip injury in the summer and did not manage to make his debut until late September, he has featured just 11 times for the club in all competitions since.
Tierney posted an image on his Instagram account from his hospital bed, telling his followers: "Op done. Soup terrible. Thank you as always for the lovely messages. Helping me a lot."
The left side of the defence has been a problem for Arsenal, and it got worse last weekend as Tierney's replacement Sead Kolasinac was forced off the field in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and replaced by 18-year-old midfielder Bukayo Saka.
Whether or not he keeps that role for the busy period over Christmas remains to be seen and will be decided by temporary coach Ljungberg, until a permanent replacement is found.
Next up for ninth-placed Arsenal are trips to both Everton and Bournemouth before hosting Chelsea before the new year and Manchester United on January 1, the club will be hoping they have got a new man swiftly, with Mikel Arteta being strongly linked.
- TeamTalk Media