Three Arsenal players are being assessed by the club’s medical staff ahead of their game against Liverpool on Thursday.
After Arsenal’s shock FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest at the weekend, Mikel Arteta confirmed the absences of Emile Smith Rowe, Granit Xhaka, and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Mark Mann-Bryans reports that the three of them are all being assessed by medical staff ahead of the Liverpool match, with no guarantees any or all of them will be available.
In Xhaka’s case, he had Covid-19 again. Arteta says the club will hopefully know today whether he’s recovered in time for tomorrow, but they didn’t know at the time of his press conference this morning.
“Obviously after having covid they are going through that illness in a different way,” Arteta said. “Some of them are having symptoms, some are being affected, some are struggling in their first few training sessions and some of them are completely fine.
“So as soon as we have the option to train Granit fully with the team, we will see where he is at.
“I don’t know where he will be physically. I know where he is going to be mentally, he will be fully committed to play from the next minute that he has clearance.”
As for Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu, they have a groin injury and a calf injury respectively. Smith Rowe has reportedly been carrying his problem for a while, and Arteta says that’s why he lost his place in the starting lineup.
“The reason why that happened is because he wasn’t fit. There was nothing else,” Arteta insisted.
“His performances, when he’s been fit, have been extraordinary, the way he’s evolving, with the importance that he has in the team, I think it’s without a doubt really, really positive.
“But he’s had an issue that he’s been carrying and obviously that’s been affecting his ability to train, his ability to compete, the amount of minutes that we can give him.
“We are trying to get that situation resolved as quickly as possible, because we need the best version of Emile for us to be successful.”
Arteta didn’t give a specific update on Tomiyasu, which hopefully means it’s not as significant a concern. But the right-back remains in the same boat as the other two for now, with a lot of uncertainty over whether he can play on Thursday.