Van Persie faces lengthy lay off


LONDON, November 16 – Arsenal's Premier League title hopes suffered a setback on Sunday after star striker Robin van Persie damaged ankle ligaments during the Netherlands' 0-0 friendly draw with Italy.VAN_PERSIEThe 26-year-old was stretched off the pitch after being tackled by Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini 14 minutes into Saturday’s game at Pescara and now faces a spell on the sidelines.

He told Dutch TV station NOS that he could miss around six weeks of action.

"Van Persie has a partially ruptured ligament," a Dutch Football Association (KNVB) official told the BBC on Sunday.

"It’s a serious injury. It’s impossible to put an exact time-frame on it because some players heal more quickly than others. It’s not a short-term injury."

Earlier, Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said he believed the player had torn ligaments.

"It’s a hard blow for him because he was in the form of his life," said van Marwijk.