By 90Min
March 07, 2018

Hector Bellerin has been ruled out of Arsenal's Europa League last-16 first leg clash with AC Milan due to a knee injury.

The Spain international was absent from training ahead of the contest with I Rossoneri and will have to sit out the clash at San Siro due to the problem.

The news comes via the Mirror, who have reported that Bellerin was not seen as part of the squad that flew out to Italy on Wednesday ahead of the game on Thursday evening.

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Bellerin was only a substitute for the Gunners' shock 2-1 defeat to Brighton at the weekend and reports had claimed that he was furious over being dropped from the starting lineup by manager Arsene Wenger.

However, the north Londoners have revealed that the 22-year-old wasn't part of the starting lineup due to a slight hamstring niggle and, after hoping he would be available to face Gennaro Gattuso's side, a knee issue has now sidelined Bellerin for an extended period of time.

The Mirror's report goes on the state that Bellerin was not unhappy at being removed from Wenger's team for the loss to the Seagulls, and had agreed with the club's medical team to sit it out with the hope of being fit for the Milan bout.

(You may also be interested in Barcelona Could Use Dembele As Bait in Bellerin Move As Juventus Cool Interest in Arsenal Ace)

Arsenal take on Watford on Sunday and could be without the full-back for a third successive match if he fails to respond well to treatment on the affected area.

Bellerin is believed to have been nursing the knee problem for a number of games but, with his hamstring also flaring up over the past four days, the club's doctors have warned Wenger and his staff that the ex-Barcelona youth star would face even more time on the treatment table if he doesn't rest both knocks.

Calum Chambers will likely be the preferred option to stand in for Bellerin against Milan, although the former Southampton ace had a torrid time at the weekend as Jose Izquierdo tore him apart down Arsenal's right flank.

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