Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hope for Pires French Coach Says Arsenal Star May Not Need Surgery

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hope for Pires French Coach Says Arsenal Star May Not Need Surgery

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL THOMSON

ROBERT PIRES may not require surgery on his knee injury, France coach Roger Lemerre revealed today.

The Arsenal midfielder was yesterday apparently ruled out for the remainder of the Premiership season and this summer's World Cup after suffering cruciate ligament damage to his right knee.

Arsenal announced the 28-year-old Frenchman would need an operation this week after he was injured in Saturday's FA Cup quarterfinal victory against Newcastle.

However, a second examination of his knee in Paris last night indicated the injury might not be so severe.

And Pires was today in Marseilles to get another opinion on whether he needs to have surgery.

Lemerre, who is preparing his squad to face Scotland tomorrow, said: "We're still waiting to find out if he is going to be operated on or not.

"We don't believe in miracles, but a further medical examination in Paris is not so negative.

"Maybe he already had the ligament damage before the game against Newcastle.

This is where the little hope lies, but his knee has still been affected.

According to the doctor, Jean Marcel Ferret, he should not be operated on as in an emergency.

"We should wait for 10 to 15 days before making a decision."

Meanwhile, Pires will get assistance from Giovanni van Bronckhorst as he tries to come to terms with the heartbreak of missing out on Arsenal's quest for the Double and the World Cup with France.

It is believed that Pires' injury is the same as the one that has ruled van Bronckhorst out for the rest of the year.

The Dutchman flew to America to have an operation earlier this month and if Pires does need surgery then he is expected to see the same specialist.

Before then van Bronckhorst will speak to Pires in an effort to lift his spirits and fill him in on what to expect.

Van Bronckhorst said: "I'll speak to Robert over the next couple of days and let him know a bit about the operation and what happens afterwards. Hopefully that will help a bit. It's incredible that two players on the same team should do this injury at the same time.

"You look at how we both did it and you see it's a 10,000-to-one chance you'll be injured. …

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