On-loan Arsenal midfielder James Olayinka needs surgery, but Southend United are hoping to put it off until the summer.

James Olayinka of Southend in action during Sky Bet League Two match between Southend and Barrow AFC at Roots Hall in Southend, UK - 9th January 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock
James Olayinka of Southend in action during Sky Bet League Two match between Southend and Barrow AFC at Roots Hall in Southend, UK – 9th January 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock

Over the weekend, James Olayinka was ruled out of Southend United’s match against Carlisle United, with his manager Mark Molesley confirming he’d returned to Arsenal for further assessment.

The results of that assessment appear to be that Olayinka will require surgery. However, Arsenal and Southend United are hoping to manage the situation until the end of the season so he can still play a part in their run-in.

“James is probably going to need some kind of intervention with the injury but we’re hoping to do that at the end of the season,” Molesley said. “It’s something you can play on with but it can be quite sore when it’s inflamed.

“At the moment Arsenal are happy for him to play when he’s a bit more pain-free and we all want to try and get him through it. It’s going to be on his pain threshold and he’s a got chance of being involved on Saturday.

“We’ll have to see how it goes but he will need an operation as there’s a groin issue which might need a small bit of microsurgery.”

Southend United only have another six games until the end of the campaign, and it really is crunch time for them now. They’re five points away from safety and desperately need every win they can get in the coming weeks.

Olayinka will want to do everything he can to be available for that final period of the season, to try and end his loan spell on a high note.

The 20-year-old has made 18 appearances for Southend United so far, scoring three goals from midfield. The vast majority of those appearances came in 2020, before his recent injury problems, but there’s still time for him to have a late positive impact.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.