Wales captain Ramsey facing lengthy lay-off

6 months ago 108
Aaron Ramsey in action for CardiffAaron Ramsey has scored three goals in six Cardiff appearances since rejoining the Welsh club in the summer

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey is out for a minimum of eight to ten weeks with a ruptured tendon in his knee.

Wales will therefore be without the midfielder for their remaining European Championship qualifiers, against Croatia on October 15 and Armenia and Turkey in November.

The 32-year old could yet require surgery that would significantly add to his return timeline.

Ramsey's club-mate Callum O'Dowda is also ruled out long term after surgery.

The Republic of Ireland international suffered a groin injury at the end of August and Cardiff boss Erol Bulut has revealed he underwent surgery this week.

Ramsey and O'Dowda's long-term issues add to Cardiff's already lengthy injury list, with forwards Yakou Meite and Kion Etete set to miss a month apiece with hamstring injuries suffered this week.

Bulut says the loss of talisman Ramsey is a big blow for the Bluebirds and Wales, and is hoping the ex-Arsenal man can avoid the surgeon's knife.

"With Aaron we were waiting to see how long he would be out and were hopeful he would not need surgery," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"But right now, he will be out for at least eight to 10 weeks and if he needs surgery, it could be up to [an extra] 12 weeks.

"If something happens during his rehab, it could be that we will have to add 12 weeks.

"He is a key player for us for sure, you can see how well he links the game and of course we will miss him.

"But we have to manage with the players that we have.

"We have four main players from the squad who we cannot use."

Kion Etete in action against RotherhamKion Etete is Cardiff's leading scorer this season with five goals

Cardiff should welcome back Josh Bowler and Jamilu Collins from injury for Saturday's visit of struggling Watford, but Bulut says the international break is coming at a good time for his side.

"For sure it is well timed for us," he said. "But even this two weeks will not help us to get back some of our players."

The absence of Ramsey is a significant blow for Wales boss Robert Page just a day after he said he expected to welcome Ramsey back next month.

Despite September's 2-0 win in Latvia, Wales are fourth in Group D, trailing joint leaders Turkey and Croatia by three points, as they aim to reach next summer's European Championship in Germany.

Wales need a positive result against unbeaten Croatia if they are to keep automatic qualification hopes alive.

Page said in his press conference announcing his squad that he was hopeful Ramsey would be back for Wales' qualifiers in November, but that will not be the case.

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