Arsenal's slim hopes of progressing through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League have been dealt a hammer blow with the news talisman Jack Wilshere is out for three weeks.
The injury means the midfielder will miss tomorrow night's last-16 second leg tie against Bayern Munich. He is also expected to miss Arsenal's Premier League clash with Swansea.
It is also bad news for England manager Roy Hodgson. Wilshere will miss the two crucial World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed the news at a press conference this morning.
"Jack Wilshere is out," he said. "He has an inflamed ankle, the other ankle to one he injured.
"He will be out for three weeks and will not be available for Munich, Swansea and not for England. Hopefully for the Premier League he will miss only one game. After there is an international break. We can slowly prepare him."
Wilshere's career has been seriously hampered by injuries, with the 21-year-old missing the entirety of last season. However, since his return in October the midfielder has proven why he was so missed by both club and country.
Wenger added today: "I could see in the last couple of games he had started to dig deep.
"He has played 30 games. For us it is not welcome but maybe for him it is not bad that he has a little breather.
"It is more about prevention. The specialist decided he needed it. He has some bone bruising.
"The last time it deteriorated into a stress fracture. That's what we don't want to happen.
"We trust people who are specialists in this area. He was out for 17 months and we had to deal with it, we must be able to deal with it for two or three games."
Arsenal's goalscorer from the first leg, Lukas Podolski, is also expected to miss the tie and Bacary Sagna has been ruled out with knee and leg problems.
Arsenal trail Bayern Munich 3-1 from the first leg and few are giving them any chance of overturning the result at the Emirates when they play in Germany tomorrow.
Wenger has admitted that Arsenal's hopes of progress are slim. "The chance is small," he said, "but the chance makes the impossible possible. That would be a great credit for our team if we do it. We have to try to achieve it."