Arsenal have confirmed new return dates for both Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac as the duo work on their returns from injury.
In a post on the club website on Thursday, Arsenal confirmed the recent suggestions that Granit Xhaka should be back in action ahead of schedule.
Previously, the club had insisted Xhaka would be out of full training until 2022, but he’s now set to join the squad in December. Arsenal add that he’s continuing to make good progress.
As for Sead Kolasinac, we didn’t have a return date until now, with Arsenal only writing that he’d suffered a significant injury.
The good news is that they now report he’s progressing well in the early stages of his rehabilitation and aiming to be back in full training in January.
Mikel Arteta had suggested in his press conference on Thursday that Xhaka could be back early.
“Hopefully he will be a little bit sooner than expected,” Arteta said.
“He is training and pushing himself and all the staff so hard like he always does.
“He is in a good place, he is evolving well and hopefully we can have him a little bit earlier. It is still a bit early to decide.”
On Wednesday, we covered quotes from Xhaka himself hinting at something similar.
The 29-year-old said in quotes reported by Blick that he’s hoping to be back in the next three or four weeks. We know he’s already in light training, and has been since early November.
The main bonus in getting Xhaka back before the end of the year is that it would allow him to get sharp before Thomas Partey heads off to AFCON.
Kolasinac picked up his injury in a World Cup qualifier with Bosnia & Herzegovina, after a terrible challenge leading to a red card.
Jukka Raitala came flying in and caught Kolasinac badly on the ankle when the ball was gone. Kolasinac had to come off, and Raitala was sent off.
The Bosnia left-back seemed particularly frustrated as he left the field of play.
That’s not surprising, as rather bizarrely, this isn’t even the first time this has happened this season.
Kolasinac also limped off the pitch after being on the end of a red-card challenge from France’s Jules Kounde in September.
Fortunately, the Arsenal defender was alright on that occasion, returning to action less than a week later.