Mikel Arteta has provided injury updates as Arsenal gears up for a crucial Premier League encounter against Wolves this weekend following their commanding Champions League triumph over RC Lens.
Despite securing their place as group winners in Europe’s elite competition, Arsenal are eyeing an extension of their lead atop the Premier League standings. While the Gunners have maintained their position at the league’s summit, concerns linger over their form.
Ahead of the Wolves fixture, Arteta is cautious about managing player minutes amid a congested fixture list to avoid exacerbating the injury situation. As focus shifts to the upcoming clash, Arteta provided insights into the current injury concerns within the squad.
Emile Smith Rowe, plagued by recurrent injuries, is currently sidelined due to a knee issue and is expected to remain out until next month. Arteta acknowledged Smith Rowe’s progress, stating, “It is a possibility [for his return in January]. Emile has already been jogging on the pitch. He’s a quick healer.”
Thomas Partey, another key absentee, is recuperating from a procedure and is also slated to be absent until January. Arteta emphasised the significance of their timely return to full fitness: “We need them to be back at their best.”
Vieira’s absence from Tuesday’s training session raised concerns, with Arteta confirming an operation for a groin issue. Expressing the club’s concern, Arteta mentioned, “We’ve got a problem with him. He underwent an operation in his groin and won’t be back before the winter break.”
Meanwhile, Jurrien Timber, who underwent successful surgery, is in the recovery phase. His absence has been keenly felt, particularly after Arsenal’s failure to secure a suitable replacement during the summer transfer window. Concerns have surfaced regarding Timber’s potential exclusion from the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024, casting doubt on his return to Arsenal next year.