Villarreal midfielder Francis Coquelin is out of action for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) yesterday.
The former Arsenal player started his side’s La Liga encounter against Barcelona at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
However, Coquelin was in agony after twisting his knee in the first half following an awkward landing. The 31-year-old was writhing on the floor as medical officials rushed to attend to him.
Everyone that knows Coquelin’s warrior character understood that the injury had to be painful. He left the pitch in tears and on a stretcher.
The club has now announced that Coquelin will be out for an extended period and will likely return to training during the summer.
A club statement read: “After the medical tests carried out last night at the IMED Valencia Hospital, it is confirmed that Villarreal player Francis Coquelin suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the match against Barcelona, corresponding to matchday 21 of LaLiga Santander.
“The French midfielder will undergo surgery in the coming days, and unfortunately, he will miss the remainder of this season. Soon, the club will give more details about the operation.
“In these difficult moments for the footballer, Villarreal wishes him much encouragement and all the strength after confirming the serious injury. We are with you, Coque!”
Coquelin’s absence will be a massive blow for Villarreal manager Quique Setien, for whom the former France youth international is a crucial player when fit.
Villarreal are eighth in La Liga and face a fight to finish in one of the European places. They are only three points behind fifth-placed Real Betis.
However, they must overcome their recent poor run in the league. Villarreal have lost their last three games but will hope to turn the tide against Real Mallorca on Saturday.
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