Gabriel Jesus is still a few weeks away from a comeback, having not yet trained with the team since his injury, according to Mikel Arteta.
In a tightly-contested game decided by a couple of defensive errors and a lack of clinical finishing, Arsenal lost 3-1 to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The two teams performed at a similar level overall, with Arsenal having the best of the first half before City rallied and dominated the second.
As a result, it’s hard not to feel like the absence of a couple of Mikel Arteta’s starters may have made the difference on the night.
One of those absentees was Gabriel Jesus, with Arsenal fans desperate to see the striker back after his two-and-a-half-month absence.
Arteta told the media after the game that the Brazilian is still a few weeks away from a return.
“He’s in a good moment [with] the rehab right now, but he hasn’t even trained with the team,” Arteta said. “So, he’s still a few weeks off.”
Jesus has returned to London Colney after his knee injury, and he’s taking part in individual training sessions, but Arteta has been keen to play down any talk of an imminent return.
Speaking last week, the manager insisted it was still “early stages” and “too far off” to set a return date.
Given the forward isn’t training with the squad yet, he certainly won’t be available for the trip to Aston Villa this weekend, and it looks very unlikely he’ll play before March.
Past that, it’s going to depend on how his rehab progress continues in the coming days.