Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed midfielder Santi Cazorla could be sidelined for up to four months after rupturing a lateral collateral ligament in his knee.
Wenger said Cazorla opted to undergo surgery over the weekend after injuring himself during Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Norwich City on November 29.
Cazorla missed Saturday's 3-1 win over Sunderland and the 30-year-old is facing at least three months out.
"Santi wanted to have a chance to come back quickly so he didn't want to last too long for 25 opinions," Wenger said.
"He decided to go straight away. The guy said: 'Look, it's a clear case. It's a rupture of the external knee ligament.' And Santi said: 'OK, let's do it straight away.'
"It's not the season. It is at least three months out, maybe four."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.