After knee surgery in the summer, it was clear Tomas Rosicky would have to be patient to play a part this season.
The Czech midfielder is now 35 years old, and precautions have to be made. He hasn’t got much time to lose, having lost so much to injury already over the past decade, but he finds himself sidelined yet again. A thigh injury sustained in Saturday’s win over Burnley will probably keep the midfielder out for around a month.
“Nobody understands,” said Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger, “I told him straight away after half-time to warm up. I observed him, he’s very conscientious Tomas, he did sprint and sprint, and sprint. He comes on; after three minutes he got the injury.
“I looked at him and thought: ‘Tomas you do not run properly’ because he didn’t lift his legs and he lost some balls. I was amazed because he is at the top level technically. He told me after the game that he did it [the injury] straight away.”
Rosicky stayed on to help his team-mates, but he clearly wasn’t himself. It’s such a horrible blow for a player who has had more than his share of injury troubles. After 45 minutes for the u21 team a week before the FA Cup tie he seemed to be fine, but apparently not.
“He warmed up well, for 20 minutes. He’s devastated. Unbelievable. He’s such a good player but his career has been disrupted by so many injuries. He was born in 1980, he’s 35, it’s difficult for him. Let’s hope we have good news, that it is not as bad as feared.”
Fingers crossed for Rosicky, and also for us. Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are already out, making Rosicky our most obvious replacement for Mesut Özil, whenever we feel the German could do with a rest.
The Gunners should have everyone other than Rosicky and the long-term absentees Cazorla, Wilshere and Danny Welbeck available on Tuesday night for the game against Southampton.