England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere's hopes of a return to action were dashed on Saturday as it was revealed he will have to undergo an operation on his right ankle.
The 19-year-old - who injured the ankle in a pre-season friendly against the New York Red Bulls - announced through his twitter account that he did not expect to be back till at the earliest Christmas.
"The bone is not responding. I will have surgery on my right ankle on Monday," Wilshere wrote on Twitter.
"Hopefully I will return to action around Christmas time. I am in good hands! Thanks for your support everyone!" added Wilshere, capped five times by England and scorer of two goals in his 49 senior appearances for the Gunners.
The news will add further pressure on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as his side have made a dreadful start to the Premier League campaign, losing three of their five matches as they have struggled to overcome the departures of Samir Nasri and captain Cesc Fabregas.