Cesc Fabregas' season is over after it was confirmed the Arsenal captain had suffered a small crack in his right fibula during the Champions League clash against Barcelona last night.
The Gunners captain had anyway been a doubt for the game which ended in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium, after suffering severe bruising to his knee and leg at Birmingham.
However, after coming through a fitness test in the warm-up, Fabregas returned to lead the side against his boyhood club - and played a pivotal role in their comeback after falling 2-0 down to a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic which looked to have all but killed off the tie.
During the closing stages, after substitute Theo Walcott had pulled a goal back, the Gunners skipper - who would have missed the second leg against his old club anyway after being booked in the first half - was bundled over by Carles Puyol and awarded a penalty.
It was during that collision with the Barcelona captain, who was shown a red card by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, that Fabregas suffered the latest problem.
However, while Fabregas will miss the rest of the domestic season, the 22-year-old should still be fit for the World Cup with Spain.
An Arsenal statement read: "Following a scan this afternoon, the club can confirm that Cesc Fabregas has suffered a small crack in his right fibula as a result of the collision with Barcelona defender Carles Puyol during Wednesday evening's match.
"As a consequence, Cesc will miss the remainder of the domestic campaign as he will be out of action for at six weeks.
"Everyone at the club wishes Cesc a full and speedy recovery."
Fabregas left Emirates Stadium on crutches last night, and had admitted he feared the worst.
The news will be a devastating blow to the plans of manager Arsene Wenger, who had only just got his captain back into full action after a hamstring injury earlier in the campaign.
Wenger will also have to do without Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin for up to three weeks after he picked up a calf problem against Barcelona and had to be substituted.
Defender William Gallas, meanwhile, also looks set to be unavailable for the remainder of the campaign after he broke down on his return following eight games out with a calf injury.
Arsenal resume their Barclays Premier League title race with the visit of Wolves on Saturday.
With leaders Manchester United hosting Chelsea, the Gunners could close the current gap, which stands at four points, with victory over Mick McCarthy's relegation battlers - who have won two of their last four games to pull clear of the drop zone.Reuse content