Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, and one other injured Arsenal player all reportedly returned to training on Thursday, ahead of the Premier League opener.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s final pre-Crystal Palace training session, Mikel Arteta discussed the injury situations of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe, and Fabio Vieira.
“Three out of four of those players are going to be training this afternoon and if everything goes well, they will be available for selection and in the squad,” Arteta said.
“Hopefully, we can start to recover because they’ve been missing a lot of minutes and time in pre-season and they are really important players for us.”
Assuming Arteta’s comments were accurate, that means one of Smith Rowe and Vieira trained, whilst the other didn’t.
Given Smith Rowe told the media this week that he was planning to return to training next week, Vieira was probably the other player to make his comeback on Thursday, but that’s just speculation at this point.
It’s certainly a boost to have Tierney and Tomiyasu back, as the pair were Arsenal’s first-choice full-backs last season.
The situation has changed in the last month of so, with Oleksandr Zinchenko joining to provide competition at left-back, whilst Ben White has started to stake a claim at right-back.
But at the very least, Tierney and Tomiyasu provide useful alternatives. You wouldn’t expect either of them to give up their spots without a fight.