Arsenal Striker Danny Welbeck Undergoes Second Operation on Broken Ankle

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal reacts to an injury during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Arsenal and Sporting CP at Emirates Stadium on November 8, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck has undergone a second operation on his right ankle after it was broken in Thursday's UEFA Europa League stalemate against Sporting CP, and it remains unclear if he'll play again this season. 

ESPN FC's Mattias Karen reported Welbeck had received another operation after undergoing the first procedure on Friday. The club released a statement, which read:

"Both procedures went well, without complications. Danny will now recuperate and start his rehabilitation. It's 

The 27-year-old went up for an innocuous-looking challenge with Sporting defender Bruno Gaspar, but his right boot was grounded and twisted in the turf.

James Olley of the Evening Standard described a sombre setting at the Emirates Stadium after it had become apparent all was not well with Welbeck:

James Olley @JamesOlley

Danny Welbeck looks like he's getting oxygen as he lies stricken in Sporting's penalty area. Leg brace being applied. Guendouzi has his hands on his head and can hardly bear to watch. Appears to be serious. Aubameyang coming on.

Arsenal fought back for a 1-1 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday without their England frontman. Manager Unai Emery was asked whether Welbeck would play again this season, to which he replied, per BBC Sport: "The doctor can answer that better than me."

His future at Arsenal is now uncertain given his contract is due to expire at the end of this campaign.

Current and former team-mates reached out to the Englishman following his setback to offer their support, including Santi Cazorla—who sat out the last 20 months of his Arsenal career due to injury—and Gilberto Silva:

Gilberto Silva @GilbertoSilva

I would to wish a very good recovery to Danny Welbeck on his injury. Keep strong . @Arsenal https://t.co/FEgviV0Orm

Welbeck managed to make it through the last campaign without a major injury. His last substantial absence was the eight months he spent out from May 2016 to January 2017 following surgery on his right knee.

Prior to that, he missed a significant portion of the 2015-16 season after injuring his left knee, which also eventually required an operation.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came on to replace Welbeck in Lisbon on Thursday. He and Alexandre Lacazette will now take up on the attacking workload for the Gunners.

However, those hoping to see the club invest in a new attacker in the winter transfer window may be disappointed, as academy star Eddie Nketiah waits in the wings, according to James Benge of the Evening Standard:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Nketiah is yet to play a first team minute this season, expect that to change, especially with Arsenal so close to topping Europa League group https://t.co/6LuSneMPst

Welbeck scored five goals in 14 appearances under Emery this season (seven starts), and he could face a fight to prove his worth for the Gunners again before his deal runs out in June.