David Luiz, Emile Smith Rowe and Sokratis Papastathopoulos join a growing Arsenal injury list ahead of the Premier League restart fixture against Fulham this Saturday.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal speaks to Dr Gary O'Driscoll, Team Doctor of Arsenal following a knock to his head during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal speaks to Dr Gary O’Driscoll, Team Doctor of Arsenal on December 26, 2019. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Arsenal confirmed on Friday morning that David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Emile Smith Rowe will miss the game against Fulham this weekend.

Luiz is out with a neck spasm, reportedly picking up the problem in the Community Shield match last month. Sokratis has a mild calf strain, and should return to full training within the next week.

Meanwhile, Smith Rowe injured his right shoulder in training. He’s aiming to integrate back into training soon after he gets his protective sling off next week. At least it’s not a recurrence of his previous groin strain issues.

The rest of the team news is nothing new. We still don’t have a return date for Calum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi, but both of them are progressing well. Pablo Mari is likely to rejoin full training by the end of the month, Gabriel Martinelli by the end of the year.

The result is that Arsenal go into the first game of the season with Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba as their only full-time centre-backs. Kieran Tierney can also play the position, and may well do so if Arsenal play a back three on Saturday.

As disappointing as the Smith Rowe injury is, it doesn’t sound like anything too serious. It won’t affect the starting lineup on Saturday anyway, as the player isn’t a starter just yet.