Arsenal defender and Switzerland international Johan Djourou will be out of action for about six months after he underwent an operation on his left knee.
Djourou followed doctors' advice and was operated on his knee cartilage in Geneva on Friday, the Swiss Football Federation said on its website. The 22-year-old had been hoping for a permanent slot in the Gunners' extremely competitive back four following the departure of Kolo Toure over the summer.
However, he quit the Swiss training camp before a friendly against Italy last month complaining of a revival in a recurrent knee pain. Djourou hopes to regain fitness for a return to competitive football next March, in the hope of making it to the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa in 2010 if Switzerland qualify.
Switzerland are currently second in Group 2, level on 13 points with first-placed Greece whom they face in Basel on Saturday.