Mikel Arteta has met with the press ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Wolves on Thursday night and has given an update on Takehiro Tomiyasu as Bernd Leno misses out with Covid.
Takehiro Tomiyasu pulled out of international duty with Japan due to an injury, forcing him to miss Arsenal’s game against Burnley as well.
Speaking to the media, Mikel Arteta said, “He’s there. He had a recurring injury so we had to be careful with him.
“He’s been training hard.
“Let’s see if he’s available for Thursday.”
Dan Orlowitz of The Japan Times broke the news that Takehiro Tomiyasu was out of Japan’s World Cup qualifiers with an injury. Shinnosuke Nakatani replaced the Arsenal defender in the squad.
The problem is a tight calf which was expected tp be just enough to get him a rest over the international break but not cause any problems when football returns.
There were already suspicions that Tomiyasu was still struggling with his previous injury, after fans spotted his absence from training photos following the Liverpool game.
After that game, Artta confirmed Tomiyasu would be be out for a ‘few weeks.
“Tomi had an injury and we didn’t have anybody to play in that position against Liverpool,” Arteta said.
“He needs to recover and look after himself, to try and be available as quick as he can. He will be out for a few weeks.”
Even before that, Mikel Arteta confirmed that Arsenal had pushed the right-back to return from injury earlier than hoped, given their lack of alternatives in the position.
“We didn’t want to play him, we had to push him because Cedric and Calum were out and we didn’t have any full-backs,” Arteta said after the game.
“The moment that he knew that, he said that he would play. He didn’t have any training sessions with us, and still was willing to play and compete the way he has done today.”
It was a real shame Tomiyasu wasn’t able to play those games, as he’s been a real positive for Arsenal this season and Japan rely on him too.
Japan defeated China 2-0 on Thursday, 27th January, and Saudi Arabia by the same scoreline on Tuesday, 1st February.
Both matches were World Cup qualifiers, as they push to qualify for this year’s tournament.
There are two automatic qualification spots in their group, plus one play-off spot, and Japan currently sit in second – three points ahead of Australia and one point behind Saudi Arabia in top spot.