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Arsenal's Smith Rowe has groin surgery, out until December

 Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates stadium in London, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has undergone surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin and will not play again before December, the club said Thursday.

Discomfort in his groin has limited Smith Rowe's game time this season for Arsenal, which said he had a "significant setback" after a substitute appearance in the 3-1 loss at Manchester United on Sept. 4.

He had an operation after discussions with consultants and Arsenal's medical team.

"This successful surgery took place in London in the past few days and Emile's rehabilitation program is already underway," Arsenal said. "We are hopeful that Emile will return to full training in December."

The 22-year-old Smith Rowe broke into Arsenal's first team at the end of the 2020-21 season and was handed the club's No. 10 jersey as a reward for his progress and a sign of his importance to Mikel Arteta's team.

Smith Rowe has lost his starting spot to Gabriel Martinelli on the left wing for Arsenal and has made just four appearances this season, all as a second-half substitute.

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