Arsene Wenger confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be fit to face Atletico Madrid on Thursday night in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final first leg.
The Armenian suffered a knee problem that was expected to keep him out until much later in the season, however he returned to light training ahead of schedule and it was hoped he might be fit to play against the Spaniards.
Speaking to the press after Arsenal’s 4-1 win over West Ham on Sunday, Wenger confirmed that the Armenian would not be available on Thursday, but Jack Wilshere should be. There is still a doubt over Ozil who is, once again, ‘ill’.
“Jack had a training session today and he looked positive so he has a good chance to be available for Thursday,” Wenger said.
“Ozil was sickness [flu] so I cannot tell you much more about that. We will have to see how he recovers tomorrow [Monday].
“But Mkhitaryan won’t be available on Thursday.”
Since arriving at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil has reportedly suffered from the ‘flu at least four times.
I don’t know about you, but that seems a lot for an elite athlete.
As for Mkhi, Wenger had said the earliest the midfielder might return would be this Thursday for the first leg, however that has now been completely ruled out.
It remains to be seen if he will be fit or risked against Manchester United when Arsenal travel to Old Trafford this weekend.
Mohamed Elneny has also been ruled out of Thursday’s game.
The Egyptian left the pitch on a stretcher and looked to be in considerable amounts of pain.
Fears that he had broken his ankle were allayed when it was reported that he had merely ‘rolled his ankle’ however Wenger confirmed that the club need to wait for the results of an X-ray before they know how long he is likely to be sidelined for.
“It’s an ankle problem that is very painful,” said Wenger.
“Overall I believe that we have to wait until the X-ray to know a little more about it. But Thursday will be too soon for him.”