English Premiership

Zouma ruled out for six months

Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma

London - Chelsea and France defender Kurt Zouma will have surgery this week on a knee injury set to rule him out for the rest of the season and Euro 2016, the Premier League club revealed on Monday.

Zouma injured his anterior cruciate ligament in Chelsea's 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The 21-year-old centre-back landed awkwardly early in the second half and was taken off on a stretcher.

"Kurt will undergo surgery in the next 48 hours and is expected to be out for approximately six months," a statement on Chelsea's official website read.

Zouma's injury is a devastating personal blow as he had established himself as a regular in Chelsea's defence this season and also hoped to feature when France challenged for the Euro 2016 crown on home turf.

Maintaining an optimistic front, Zouma vowed to return from the injury better than ever.

"Scan today has shown I injured my ACL. I will have surgery this week and will come back stronger. Thank you everyone for all the messages," he tweeted.

Zouma has started 16 of the last 19 Chelsea matches in all competitions, displacing Gary Cahill as first-choice alongside captain John Terry.

Cahill, the England vice-captain, will welcome the opportunity to return to the starting line-up, even if the circumstances are unfortunate for a team-mate.

Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta told the Evening Standard: "Gary is one of the veterans of the team. We know his quality and in this squad, it is always important to be ready.

"We need everybody, we have big games coming up and all of us have to be ready."

With Zouma out, Cahill will likely line-up alongside Terry in Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle.