Bukayo Saka was substituted with an injury against Leeds United on Sunday, so what is his prognosis and when can we expect him back?

Bukayo Saka injury - LEEDS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on November 22, 2020 in Leeds, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on November 22, 2020  (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka was a second half substitute for Arsenal, coming on against Leeds United in Arsenal’s latest Premier League debacle after 57 minutes when he replaced Joe Willock.

It goes someway to explain just how bad Arsenal were that Saka was on the pitch for just 33 minutes and was easily our best player.

To see him taken off, replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in injury time, was more than a little concerning. Throw into the mix Nicolas Pepe’s three-match suspension, Willian’s injury and lack of, let’s be kind and say ‘form’, and Gabriel Martinelli’s continued absence and Saka’s fitness becomes a major worry.

Speaking after the game, Mikel Arteta gave the following update; “He was in pain. We’re going to have to assess with the medical staff how bad it is, but it looked like a pretty bad challenge and he was in pain so we decided to take him out straight away.”

The fact that it was a bad challenge and seemed to be an impact injury bodes well for Saka but Arsenal’s history when it comes to good injury news does not.

Thankfully, it seems like Saka suffered merely a dead leg. He will, however, face a late fitness test before the squad is selected for the game against Wolves.

Arsenal said, “Bukayo has returned to full training and is being assessed. Decision to be made on participation ahead of Sunday’s match.”

What is a dead leg?

A dead leg happens when a heavy impact on the quadriceps forces the muscle to be crushed against the bone. This can lead to tearing of the muscle within the sheath which surrounds it. The resulting injury can cause pain, swelling, bruising and occasionally a restriction to the movement of the leg.

 

what is a dead leg?
what is a dead leg?

Treatment usually involves rest and the application of ice packs while keeping the leg elevated and recovery can take anywhere between a couple of days to a number of weeks to recover depending on the severity of the injury.

Bukayo Saka injury further reading:

532 minutes combined: No rest for Tierney or Saka on international duty

19/11/2020

HEVERLEE, BELGIUM: Bukayo Saka of England in action during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Belgium and England at King Power at Den Dreef Stadion on November 15, 2020. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
HEVERLEE, BELGIUM: Bukayo Saka of England in action during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Belgium and England at King Power at Den Dreef Stadion on November 15, 2020. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Both Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka have been two of Arsenal’s busier players in the early months of the new season. Only three players have made more appearances than their 11 each, yet the pair aren’t getting any rest over the international break.

Tierney is certainly the worse off of the two. He played 120 minutes of football on Thursday, then 90 minutes on Sunday, then another 90 minutes on Wednesday. 300 minutes in under a week.

Saka also featured in all three games for England. He played 90 minutes against Ireland and Iceland, with a further 52 against Belgium in between – coming off the bench in the first half.

The issue for Arsenal is that on top of that, Sead Kolasinac tested positive for coronavirus. They can’t use the Bosnian defender as a rotation option in either of their next two games.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is the only real alternative remaining at wing-back, and there’s pretty much no option other than Tierney at full-back.

Mikel Arteta could look to young Joel Lopez, as we recently suggested, or Pablo Mari to play left-centre-back if he’s finally available.

But most likely, we’ll end up seeing more starts for Tierney and Saka while we cross our fingers and pray to avoid injuries.

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