Arsenal defender suffers injury scare on international duty

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suffering from bony oedema in his ankle, according to reports coming out of Greece.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Nacho Monreal and Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Nacho Monreal and Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Greek outlet SDNA report that after joining up with his national team for upcoming fixtures against Liechtenstein and Bosnia, Sokratis suffered from oedema in his ankle (swelling as a result of an abnormal accumulation of fluid). There’s no word yet on whether this will rule him out of the international break, but it’s fairly worrying news.

Sokratis has already missed part of this season with an ankle injury, so it appears the problem hasn’t fully disappeared. Considering how well the defender has performed when available, it would be a shame to lose him to a recurrence of the issue.

Obviously, Arsenal have no control over what Greece decide to do with the 30-year-old over the international break. However, the Gunners may be wise to consider giving the centre-back a rest against Newcastle United in their first game back.

Other than the injury risk, Sokratis is also one yellow card away from a two-game ban that would leave him suspended for trips to Everton and Watford. It’s likely to be much more important to have him available for those games over one match against Newcastle at home. It’s up to Arsenal to assess the risk now.