Mikel Arteta and Lucas Torreira gave very different injury updates after Arsenal’s clash with Portsmouth on Monday night.
In all honesty, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be good news on the injury front for Torreira. He came off in the 16th minute after a heavy challenge on his ankle, and Arsenal described the issue as a ‘potentially bad injury’ on their website.
After the game, Mikel Arteta said: “He was in a lot of pain. He is in a brace at the moment, he will be assessed in the next few days and we will know more then. I don’t know if it’s the bone or ligaments, we don’t know yet.”
Torreira left the game on crutches, though this is fairly normal for a player with any kind of ankle concern.
Lucas Torreira departing Fratton Park pic.twitter.com/jd2aXeQNZC
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) March 2, 2020
The player himself doesn’t seem to think it’s that bad though. Torreira told ESPN Uruguay: “I wanted to kick it (the ball) and he caught my ankle on the outside. I twisted it, but I can move it. I’m fine.”
Torreira is probably just trying to put a brave face on the situation. It’s always unlikely a player will come out and tell reporters he’s out for the season. They all want to stay hopeful.
The fact he can move it and put weight on it is positive though, and hopefully means it isn’t a serious break.
How will a long-term injury affect the team?
Arsenal have alternatives in midfield. Dani Ceballos came on and performed well against Portsmouth on Monday. Granit Xhaka and Mesut Özil didn’t start either, but they make the team’s best midfield. Then there’s Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock.
Even Ainsley Maitland-Niles could get a chance if he takes Arteta’s advice and works for it. Matt Smith and Ben Cottrell are both playing well for the u23s as well. It’s not an area Arsenal are lacking players.
All the same, we wish Torreira the best for a speedy recovery.