Clichy out until spring
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Arsenal defender Gael Clichy is unlikely to play again until March following confirmation he has suffered a stress fracture in his foot.
Clichy picked up the injury during France Under-21s' 1-1 draw with their England counterparts at White Hart Lane last Friday.
The problem is exactly the same type of injury that Ashley Cole is currently recovering from, with the England international due back in action at Christmas, after being out since the start of October.
But Clichy, who has been acting as Cole's understudy, faces around three to four months on the sidelines as he requires surgery.
Arsene Wenger confirmed the extent of Clichy's injury, with the Gunners boss astounded that it is the same problem which befell Cole.
"The story is that Gael will need surgery," Wenger told the club's official website.
"The injury is in the same place where he had a screw put in before.
"The quite remarkable thing, in a negative way, is that he has the same problem as Ashley Cole.
"It is terrible for the boy, we feel really bad for him. For us it is hard to take as well because we have no left backs who are really comfortable in that position.
"Ashley is five weeks away in my opinion and Gael is three to four months away. We'll just have to be patient and wish them well."
Wenger will now have to decide who can plug the gap at left back, with his other option - Justin Hoyte - on a season-long loan at Sunderland.