Arsenal fear forward Danny Welbeck has suffered a “very big injury” after he was carried off on a stretcher during his side’s Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, BBC reports.
It ended goalless at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners secured a place in the last 32, but the match was overshadowed by the 27-year-old England international’s ankle injury.
“He is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait, but we think it’s a serious injury,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
“Every injury is different. This could be a break of something in the ankle.
“It’s clear that we’re with him in these minutes. He’s a very good person and his commitment with us is very big.
“It’s a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person.”
Welbeck was hurt in the 25th minute when he jumped for a header and landed badly on his right ankle. He received oxygen and had his leg in a protective brace as he was taken off the pitch, with up to 10 medical staff around him as he received treatment.
“They saw it was a big injury,” added Emery.
“When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don’t want it to happen, but this is our profession.”
Welbeck has scored five goals this season, played for England against Spain in September and had been named in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad for the friendly with the United States and the Nations League match against Croatia.
Sporting ended the game with 10 men when ex-Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu was shown a straight red card after fouling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he was clean through on goal – although the hosts could not find a winner.
The result, along with a 1-0 win for Azerbaijani side Qarabag over Vorskla Poltava of Ukraine in the other Group E match, was enough to take the Gunners through to the knockout phase. They join Chelsea in the last 32, who had secured their place in the next stage with a 1-0 away win at BATE Borisov.
Arsenal are fifth in the Premier League, unbeaten in 15 games and have 10 points from their opening four Europa League games.