Eduardo out of hospital as Bilic clears Taylor tackle

The Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva was released from hospital yesterday, four days after undergoing surgery on the horrific injury he suffered last Saturday.

Eduardo suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle after a tackle by Birmingham's Martin Taylor. He will have his leg in plaster for the next six to eight weeks before beginning a rehabilitation programme.

Arsenal believe he should be running again in six months and said in a statement: "The club can confirm that Eduardo has now been released from hospital, where he had been since sustaining his injury against Birmingham City. Eduardo would like to once again thank everyone for the overwhelming messages of support he has received."

The Croatia striker's national team coach Slaven Bilic said he did not blame Taylor for the injury. "The injury made the tackle look bad," Bilic said. "You see many tackles like that, almost every week.

"That's perhaps wrong for football but I'm sure Martin Taylor is a sportsman and he wanted to play the ball," Bilic added. "On another occasion Eduardo could have received a worse tackle and got away without injury – everything went wrong but Eduardo knows Taylor didn't do it deliberately."

Alan Shearer, who suffered a serious ankle injury when at Newcastle, was optimistic about Eduardo's prognosis yesterday

"It's a long, long road for him but there is no reason why he can't come back fitter and better than ever," Shearer said. "He's still young, he was finding his way in the Premier League so it's a great shame for him. Everyone wishes him well.

"There will be some long days ahead but he'll get there because he has a great team around him. He'll have all the right treatment at Arsenal.

"When you come back there is a little apprehension," Shearer added, "but it's about getting your confidence back to believe in your body again and that you belong on a football pitch. After that it's a matter of forgetting about it and getting on with it."

Meanwhile, the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov maintained yesterday that his Red and White Holdings company has no "further plans" to obtain more than a 25 per cent stake in Arsenal.

Earlier this month, Red & White – fronted by the former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein – increased their stock in the club to just over 24 per cent. Usmanov's interest last year precipitated a "lockdown" agreement by the Arsenal board, which meant the metals magnate cannot launch a formal takeover bid at the moment.

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