Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard returned from injury sooner than expected when he started for Norway against Slovenia on Saturday.
Norwegian outlet TV2 reported before the game that they understood Martin Odegaard was healthy after his injury setback, and set to start away to Slovenia on Saturday and that’s exactly what happened.
The Arsenal captain played 71 minutes, picking up a 7.0 rating, before being replaced by Fredrik Aursnes.
Odegaard’s fitness status was questionable earlier in the week, but he had been training fully in recent days, allowing him to feature this weekend.
Concerns over Odegaard started after he was excluded from Arsenal’s travelling squad to face Brentford last weekend.
The player had been in training up until a day before that game, but a calf problem ended up keeping him out of the match.
Norway manager Stale Solbakken told the media “nothing has been decided” when asked about the part Odegaard was set to play over the international break, suggesting that the 23-year-old would at least be involved in helping to coach the team if he couldn’t play.
The fact that Odegaard did indeed return to the pitch against Slovenia, in a game Norway lost 2-, suggests the problem was nothing serious, which is good news for Arsenal.
With only a week until the men’s north London derby, it’s going to be important to have as many players as possible available for the game.