Mikel Arteta has given an update on Bukayo Saka and revealed Arsenal have another few knocks ahead of the match against Manchester United.
After coming off early against Newcastle United, Bukayo Saka is an injury doubt for the trip to Manchester on Thursday.
The good news is that Mikel Arteta seems to be optimistic the injury is nothing serious, but there doesn’t seem to be any guarantee he’ll be ready in time.
“I am hopeful but we don’t know,” Arteta said. “Obviously it’s a really short turnaround and the player has to be comfortable playing with a little injury, so let’s see how he is in training.
“Well, we’re not going to risk our players if we believe that that can obviously go against us.
“Bukayo is really willing. He’s been preparing for the last two days because he wants to play and let’s see how he is.”
As for the injury news in full, Arteta confirmed Xhaka and Kolasinac are still out, and there may be a few more problems on top of Saka’s case.
“Granit is still not ready, Kolasinac is still not ready, we have a doubt with Bukayo and another few knocks we got against Newcastle,” Arteta added.
“So today is the day to assess how everyone is and if they will be fit for tomorrow and then make the decision on the squad.”
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Arsenal were continuing to assess Saka, but his withdrawal was precautionary and they’re optimistic he hasn’t done any major damage to himself.
Saka was forced off early in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against Newcastle United this weekend, just minutes after scoring the team’s opening goal of the game.
It was clearly an injury problem, with the winger sitting down on the turf twice and holding his leg a couple of times before the substitution.
Speaking after the game, Mikel Arteta suggested Saka would likely need a scan to assess the issue.
“It was an action where he said he felt something and wasn’t comfortable to continue,” Arteta said.
“We’ll have to assess him tomorrow (Sunday) and probably scan him and see if there’s any injury there.”
Although the Arsenal manager didn’t seem to know too much about the exact nature of the injury, he did suggest it was muscule issue.
“Yeah, he (Saka) felt something muscular, and let’s see what it is,” he added.
Following the results of those initial scans, things seem pretty positive. It certainly appears likely we would have heard if he had an obvious tear.
It would be a blow to lose Saka for any serious length of time, particularly as we move into a busy December.
Arsenal do at least have a couple of options for now, with Gabriel Martinelli scoring off the bench on Saturday and Nicolas Pepe waiting for a chance.
Manchester United team news update
Manchester United welcome back Harry Maguire from a one-game suspension but they will be without Raphael Varane, Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.
Doubts: United have taken it easy with Luke Shaw lately after a number of head injuries. The defender did not face Villareal nor Chelsea.