No Madrid return
The English international was making his comeback from a thigh problem when he sustained a sprained ankle playing for Arsenal's reserves last night. "He seems to have sprained his left ankle," a club spokesman said. "It is not the recurrence of an old injury. But there is no telling at this stage how long he will be out for." Cole's chance of being available for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round return leg against Real Madrid CF on 8 March is now gone.
The 25-year-old left-back broke a bone in his foot in October before collecting a thigh injury in January, on his first appearance back after a three-month lay-off. He has consequently been reduced to just eight Premiership matches this season and two in the UEFA Champions League.
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