Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe are back in training, but Mikel Arteta is urging caution with the right-back.
Tomiyasu has since returned to training, but it seems he’s not in full training just yet, and Mikel Arteta’s comments suggest they aren’t going to rush the right-back.
“He needs to be consistently training for a period [so] that we can minimise the risk of having another recurring injury in the same muscle because it would be something to worry about and we have to stay away from that,” Arteta said.
“He had a calf injury and after that, he had a really quick recovery, we play him, maybe too quick I don’t know.
“He had a recurring injury there and then he felt it again one day when he was back in training with us so yes, disappointment because he has been really important.”
As for Smith Rowe, the news seems far more positive. Like Tomiyasu, Smith Rowe has made his return to training, but he also seems to be in genuine contention for minutes this weekend.
“He went through Covid, he’s feeling good now,” Arteta said.
“He’s had a couple of training sessions and hopefully he can get the rhythm, consistency, and stay out of missing games because he’s a really important player for us. We need him.”
Arsenal have three games coming up in just seven days, so they need as many squad options available as possible.
There are some positions where the team are well-stocked, with Nicolas Pepe ready to come in for Bukayo Saka, for example.
But without Smith Rowe on the left and Tomiyasu at right-back, it’s a lot harder to see the alternatives if and when Gabriel Martinelli or Cedric Soares need a rest.