Per Mertesacker has given an update on his head injury sustained in the Community Shield, revealing he may miss Arsenal’s opening league game against Leicester City.
Mertesacker was forced off during the first half after a collision between his face and Gary Cahill’s elbow. The collision left a deep cut on Mertesacker’s face which bled enough on the pitch for Arsenal not to take any chances and take the player straight off.
As is often the case with head injuries in football, concussion is real possibility, but the German has allayed such fears in a recent injury update. He did, however, admit being uncertain as to if he’ll be able to play against Leicester on Friday.
“I’m pretty well for that hit and for the deep cut I suffered, I feel quite well,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “The result I think gives me a lift right now.
“I can remember everything [about the clash], so I think there’s no concussion or something, it was just a very, very deep cut and the doctors already said on the pitch they didn’t want to take any risk, so took me off as a precaution and I got some nice stitches.
“I’m not quite sure yet [about whether I will be fit to face Leicester]. We need to take care of this – you know how the swelling goes and if it turns into a black eye or something. It’s too early to say because health is the first thing.”
Cahill visited the Arsenal dressing room after the game to apologise for the injury, and Mertesacker says there’s no hard feelings between them, adding: “It’s great sportsmanship from him. He is as well a champion, a decent fella, so I thanked him again for coming and taking care of that, it’s an accident, but it was a nice touch.”
If Mertesacker is not ready for the Leicester game, it could press Shkodran Mustafi back into action sooner than expected. Laurent Koscielny will also begin a two-game suspension which will force Arsenal to use either Nacho Monreal or Sead Kolasinac at centre-back.
The duo played in the back three for most of the game against Chelsea and didn’t have many problems at Wembley.