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Arteta ruled out for the rest of the season

  • Story Highlights
  • Everton lose midfielder Mikel Arteta for the rest of the English season
  • Arteta ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee in goalless draw at Newcastle
  • Despite injury crisis Everton stay sixth in Premier League and in the FA Cup
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(CNN) -- Everton's injury crisis deepened on Monday as influential midfielder Mikel Arteta was ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing a cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Arteta is attended to after injuring his knee in Sunday's draw at Newcastle.

Arteta is attended to after injuring his knee in Sunday's draw at Newcastle.

The Spanish playmaker was carried off after only three minutes of Sunday's goalless draw at Newcastle after falling awkwardly.

An MRI scan has revealed the extent of the injury and the 26-year-old faces several months on the sidelines.

Arteta, who has scored seven goals this season, joins a lengthy injury list at Goodison Park which looks set to seriously undermine their prospects of European football next season.

Striker Victor Amichebe was limped off at St James' Park after a two-footed lunge from Kevin Nolan which earned the Newcastle player a straight red card.

He is undergoing further examination to see the extent of his knee injury while fellow striker Ayegbeni Yakubu is out for the season after he ruptured an Achilles tendon at the end of November.

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David Moyes' team has been particularly hard-hit in the striking department with Louis Saha plagued by hamstring trouble and youngster James Vaughan having surgery on a knee problem.

Moyes has been forced to utilize midfielder Tim Cahill in a more advanced role and said on Monday that his performances were worthy of consideration for the player of the year award in England.

He signed striker Jo on loan from Manchester City in the January transfer window, but also has injury problems in other areas.

Midfielders Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman have all been recent absentees, while defender Nuno Valente is expected to return in mid-March at the earliest.

But the loss of Arteta will be most seriously felt, with Everton in sixth in the Premier League and quarterfinals of the FA Cup, despite limited resources.

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