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Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the rest of the season — unless Arsenal reach the Europa League final.
Midfielder Mkhitaryan has undergone a scan on the knee injury suffered in last Thursday’s quarter-final first leg win over CSKA Moscow, and it has revealed medial ligament damage.
Boss Arsene Wenger has finally been able to put a time scale on the lay-off and it is a major blow for the 29-year-old, signed during the January window in a swap deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, as the injury rules him out of the entire domestic run-in.
However, there is still a chance Mkhitaryan could return for the Europa League final showpiece in the French city of Lyon on May 16, if his recovery goes well.
That is Arsenal’s last chance of silverware this season and offers a route into the Champions League next season for its eventual winners.
Mkhitaryan, whose Armenia side failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia, will now undergo intensive treatment on what seemed a small injury at first over the coming weeks.
Arsenal, who have one foot in the semi-finals after that 4-1 first leg win, fly to Moscow on Wednesday to face CSKA 24 hours later.
Wenger has been resting and rotating players throughout the European campaign and now the Premier League too.
He is confident he will have a largely-fit squad to take to Russia.