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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contracted malaria while on international duty during the last break but the player has now returned home after two days in hospital to treat the illness.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s recent form and absence has been explained with the news that the forward contracted malaria while on international duty.
“Hey guys, thanks for all the messages and calls,” he wrote on his Instagram.
“Unfortunately I contracted Malaria whilst being on national team duty in Gabon a few weeks ago. I’ve spent a few days in hospital this week but I’m already feeling much better every day, thanks to the great doctors that detected and treated the virus so quickly. I wasn’t really feeling myself the last couple weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon! 🙏🏾 Will be watching my boys now, huge game for us! Let‘s go and get it @arsenal 💪🏾💪🏾”
After Arsenal’s 4-0 win, that saw them make the Europa League semi-final where they will meet Unai Emery and Villarreal, Mikel Arteta was asked about Aubameyang. He revealed that the player had now returned home after two days in hospital and that he prognosis looks good for Arsenal’s captain.
“We just spoke with him,” Arteta said. He’s at home, he’s fine, he’s completely fine at the moment. He had two days in hospital to get the right treatment but he’s feeling good now.
“We’ll see how he recovers. I think he’ll need a few days to recover from that. He wants to be back as soon as possible, that’s what he said to me.
“When he wasn’t involved against Sheffield, two days before he wasn’t feeling good, but nobody could expect that was the case and the doctors took some more tests and that’s when it came out. The doctor realised very quickly what had to be done and they did a great job, and he’s safe and feeling good.
“Hopefully not because he feels really good, that’s what he said to me today, and he really wants to get back, but I don’t know, it shouldn’t take too long.
“Everybody has been in contact with him. He’s been really supportive with every teammate through messages and calls, and he was watching the game like everybody else at Colney with David, Martin, Kieran and everybody that hasn’t been able to be involved and has been missed here. But it is what it is, these things happen and he travelled to this country and picked it up, and this risk always exists.”
Malaria is a preventable, but serious disease that can often be fatal. In 2019 there were 229 million cases of malaria with 409,000 deaths.
It is caused by a parasite that usually infects a mosquito that likes to feed on humans.
It was initially reported that Aubameyang had ‘flu, and there is some crossover of symptoms. High fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms that we all know well are not actually the disease but, as many who have had their Covid jabs will attest, the body’s immune system’s response to illness.
While the flu can also lead to death, malaria is a much more serious illness. It was reported at the end of 2020 in the BMJ that WHO was warning that “African malaria deaths set to dwarf covid-19 fatalities as pandemic hits control efforts.”
They added that “Excess malaria deaths caused by pandemic driven shortfalls in prevention and treatment efforts will probably dwarf direct deaths from covid-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization has warned.
“It’s likely that excess malaria mortality is larger than direct covid-19 mortality,” said Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s malaria programme.”
WHO add, “In 2019, nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the WHO regions of South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and the Americas are also at risk.”
ARSENAL INJURY TABLE
83 games missed: Is Kieran Tierney injury prone?
Kieran Tierney picked up another injury at the weekend and, as I looked at his injury history, it was more than a little concerning, and it might be time to ask is Kieran Tierney injury prone?
When Arsenal signed Kieran Tierney from Celtic in 2019, he was suffering from a hip problem that kept him out longer than Celtic said it would.
That was our first clue there might be a problem.
Tierney has already missed 28 games prior to this injury, including six games from January 19, 2021, because of another knee problem.
While at Celtic, Tierney didn’t fair much better, although he didn’t suffer any knee problems.
He missed 55 games across four seasons meaning the 23-year-old has missed 83 games because of injury problems since the 16/17 season.
Kieran Tierney injury record
Number of games missed per injury:
- 16/17 Ruptured ankle ligament, 85 days 15 games
- 17/18 Calf injury, 22 days 3 games
- 18/19 Hip Injury 77 days 17 games
- 18/19 Cals Sclerosis 5 days 2 games
- 18/19 Hip Injury 13 days 2 games
- 18/19 Groin Surgery 33 days 3 games
- 19/20 Hip Injury 93 days 13 games (for Celtic and Arsenal)
- 19/20 Shoulder Injury 96 days 19 games
- 20/21 Groin Injury, 14 days 2 games
- 20/21 Knock 3 days 1 game
- 20/21 Knee Injury, 28 days 6 games
That’s 83 games missed, at the time of writing, across five seasons. An average of 16.6 games per season, a number that will increase before the 20/21 season finishes.
I noted at the time of his transfer to Arsenal that he had a few issues that could be of concern to the player, although they centred around his osteitis pubis problem, which is an ‘uncommon cause of pain in the groin and pelvis,’ and it occurs ‘when there is inflammation of the pubic symphysis, the joint of the two major pelvic bones at the front of the pelvis.’
“The most important treatment for osteitis pubis is rest,” writes Very Well Health. “Because inflammation is the problem, the body needs the joint to rest in order to heal properly.”
Although this latest injury isn’t a hip or pubic problem, the one things Kieran Tierney definitely doesn’t get enough of is rest.
The only breaks he’s had with Arsenal have come when he’s been injured, the group stages of the Europa League, and the EFL Cup. Even with his country, Tierney plays all the time. Scotland had three games over the most recent international break and Tierney played 259 of the 270 minutes.
You can only push a human body so far before it will start giving you major problems. Despite all his issues, and only being 23, Tierney has played 229 matches for Celtic and Arsenal plus another 19 for Scotland.
Mikel Arteta: It’s insane, managers warned this would happen
Mikel Arteta has called the number of injuries being picked up by Premier League clubs this season ‘insane’ and added that Premier League managers warned the Premier League that this would happen.
Three players had to be taken off injured during Arsenal’s game at Leicester.
Leicester’s Harvey Barnes looks like his might be the most serious, with knee surgery required and a minimum of six weeks on the sidelines ahead of him.
But the Foxes also lost Johnny Evans while Arsenal had to replace Emile Smith Rowe, who picked up a calf problem.
“It’s absolutely normal that it is happening,” said Arteta after the game when asked about the injuries.
“It is insane – the amount of minutes and the games that these players are playing without any pre-season, without any break.
“You are going to get injuries. We talked about it, all the managers raised our voices at the start of the season and [now] it’s happening.
“This is why we needed to change players [vs Leicester], because if not we were going to expose our players to injuries,’ Arteta added. “But sometimes you don’t have a chance as a manager [to do that] because you don’t have enough players or you have the necessity to win and play them again.”
In terms of numbers of players out injured, Arsenal have actually fared better this season than in recent ones. This season, rather than leading the way when it comes to the number of players they have out injured, the Gunners are leaving it to the likes of Liverpool (8) who, before this season, have enjoyed quite a few seasons where injuries have been relatively kind to them.
Arsenal have just one player out injured at the minute, Emile Smith Rowe. Only Spurs, who are another side who usually ride high on the Injury Table, have that few players out injured at the minute.
A number of years back, I started tracking injuries across the league to show that Arsenal were indeed suffering more injuries than other sides.
I don’t think I remember seeing a time when so many teams had so many players out injured. Eight teams currently have six or more players out.
That Arsenal only have one is the real miracle here.
PREVIOUS ARSENAL INJURY NEWS UPDATES
Rob Holding is unavailable for Arsenal’s trip to face Benfica in Athens, but he’ll return in time for Leicester City at the weekend.
Rob Holding became Arsenal’s first-ever concussion substitute at the weekend, coming off for David Luiz after a blow to the head. Though the results came back without showing any serious problems for the player, he’s unavailable to face Benfica.
“Regarding Rob, he’s not available,” Mikel Arteta confirmed. “He had a concussion, we tested him and he’s completely fine but obviously now we need to follow the protocols and he won’t be able to travel.”
Mark Mann-Bryans reports that though Holding won’t travel to Athens, he’ll be fine for Sunday’s trip to Leicester City.
Obviously, there are strict rules to follow regarding concussions. Even if Holding appears to be completely fine, Arsenal don’t want to risk his safety or risk getting in trouble with the FA, so they have to leave him out for the required period of time.
It’s not a major problem for the team, as Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz should both be available to face Benfica as they did in the first leg. Holding was unlikely to start this match anyway, so the Leicester trip is a good return date.
It just means Arsenal will be relying on alternative options should Luiz need to come off against Benfica. Perhaps Calum Chambers will make his first appearance since December, after Arteta ruled him ready to go in his press conference.
Injury updates: Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney has travelled to Rome with Arsenal ahead of their game against Benfica but Thomas Partey has stayed at home.
Speaking to the media before at his press conference, Mikel Arteta said, “Thomas [Partey] didn’t travel, he’s not there yet. He’s still training individually. Kieran has had one session with us and is part of the squad.”
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will both be back from injury in time to face Arsenal on Sunday, after they returned to the bench this week. More here
Kieran Tierney returns to training for Arsenal
Kieran Tierney has returned to training with Arsenal giving the Gunners a major lift before their games against Benfica and Manchester City.
After missing the last six games with a leg strain and knee issue, Kieran Tierney has returned to training with Arsenal.
Speaking just a few days ago, Mikel Arteta said it ‘seems unlikely’ that either Thomas Partey or Kieran Tierney would be available for Arsenal’s matches this week.
Arsenal are currently facing one of their tougher weeks of the season so far. First up, they play their first Europa League knockout match, the first leg away to Benfica. Then, they’ll host league leaders Manchester City – who are on a 16-game winning streak.
It looked like Arsenal would have to make do without two of their key players in Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey. Both have had injury problems recently and Mikel Arteta didn’t seem too optimistic about them returning to action this week.
“It seems unlikely at the moment. But probably if there is one player who has got a bigger chance, it’s Kieran, because probably in the next few days he can start to do some parts with the team,” Arteta revealed.
“But I don’t know how it is going to evolve when he gets a little bit closer to training with the group.”
Tierney has had a couple of issues with his right leg, and Arteta’s last update confirmed he’ll rejoin training this week. However, that return to training doesn’t necessarily mean a return to the pitch just yet, as they need to evaluate the condition of his knee.
As for Partey, he has a hamstring problem, and reports suggest he’s likely to miss both legs of the Benfica tie. Nothing in Arteta’s most recent comments contradicts that assessment.
Pablo Mari returned from 34 days out to take up a place on the bench as Arsenal beat Leeds United 4-2
A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hattrick and another from Hector Bellerin was enough to see of Bielsa’s Leeds on Valentine’s Day. Arsenal also hit the woodwork twice and had a good penalty overturned by VAR.
Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Martinelli
on why Martinelli isn’t starting most games…
Well, he came back and did really well, but then he picked up another injury. It took him a while to come and now it’s about getting in his rhythm and getting his place in the team like anybody else. Don’t forget that we played him last time against Manchester United and he started ahead of other players, so it’s not like he’s not having the opportunities. We know that he’s got a huge potential and he’s done some really good things since he’s come back. He has a lot of things to develop in his game because of course at his age it’s normal.
Mikel Arteta met with the media ahead of Arsenal’s game against Leeds United.
Here are the latest Arsenal fitness updates:
on whether there is an update on the team news…
Not really, we will know more in the next two days on the injuries we have and how they are evolving, and whether they will be available for Sunday or the next game. Be patient because it looks like a lot of players are breaking down.
on how long Partey will be out for…
It is a difficult one, he felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan looked a little bit worse. He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next two days but it is a muscular issue.
on how frustrating it is for him…
He was devastated, we were all devastated because we know the importance of Thomas and we haven’t had him since we signed him, we haven’t had him in three games consecutively. I think he has only played 90 minutes once since he has come back from injury, so it is a big blow for us but he is adapting to the league, he has been very unlucky as well and he is very frustrated because he is a very competitive guy who wants to feel important and be important for the team and at the moment the injuries are restricting a lot of game time for him.
on Kieran Tierney…
We have to see how the knee reacts when he starts to get a bit more load. He hasn’t had much left but he is very positive at the moment, he is in good spirits and he is desperate to get back in the team and we will see in the next few days, the moment he starts to train with the team and se how he is feeling and how he reacts.
Major blow as Thomas Partey to miss both Benfica legs
Thomas Partey is now likely to miss the entirety of Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Benfica, due to a hamstring injury.
Thomas Partey picked up yet another injury against Aston Villa last weekend. This time it was a hamstring problem, which initially didn’t seem too serious, but Mikel Arteta says a scan on the problem brought bad news.
“He felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan, it looked a little bit worse,” Arteta said. “He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next few days but it’s a muscular issue.”
Football.London add that they understand Partey isn’t just going to miss the Leeds United clash, but also both Europa League matches against Benfica. That’s a big blow for the team, with a lot riding on the European ties at the moment.
Given Arsenal’s position in the league, winning the Europa League may well turn out to be their only route into Europe next season. There are no cup runs to fall back on this time.
Obviously, it’s a huge long shot. We already know how one bad match will kill you in the Europa League, however well you play until then. The absence of players like Partey only makes things more difficult.
This is Partey’s third serious injury of the season, in addition to a number of knocks. He missed most of November and most of December with his last two setbacks.
Both Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney have been ruled out of Arsenal’s game vs Leeds United
Arsenal have provided the latest team news ahead of their Premier League game vs Leeds United on Sunday:
Thomas Partey: Thomas sustained a strain to his left hamstring during last Saturday’s match at Aston Villa and will miss the match against Leeds United on Sunday. Thomas will continue to be assessed and rehabilitate from this injury.
Kieran Tierney: Kieran is recovering well from a strain to the right lower leg and is aiming to integrate back into training next week.
7 February 2021
Thomas Partey injury update: Thomas Partey picked up another muscular injury on Saturday in Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa, so when are we likely to see the midfielder return to action?
In the 74th minute of Arsenal’s game against Aston Villa on Saturday Thomas Partey just sat down. His muscles, it seems, had once again had enough of the Premier League.
Replaced by Willian, Arsenal now look set to be without Thomas Partey for at least a few games but we are unlikely to know how many until he actually returns because that’s how this new lot do things. Or don’t, as the case might be.
After Saturday’s latest debacle, Mikel Arteta said of Partey, “He had a muscular injury so we had to take him off
“He could not carry on playing.
“I don’t know [how bad it is],” he added.
“We will see the extent of the injury. He wasn’t feeling well enough to continue playing so we had to take him off.”
Thomas Partey injury history at Arsenal
Before this injury, Partey had already missed 10 games for Arsenal in his first season in England. This is a player who missed just six in five years with the Atletico Madrid first team.
Colder, more physical conditions seem to be taking their toll.
Arsenal don’t play again until Leeds turn up at the Emirates on Valentine’s Day.
Smart money would be on Thomas Partey’s injury keeping him out of both that game at least.
Speaking in January about Thomas Partey when the midfielder was still out with his hip problem, Mikel Arteta highlighted his importance to the side.
“He has got a different presence, he brings something different to the team,” said Arteta. “It is not just about his talent, it is not just about his physicality, it is who he is as a person.
“He makes players better around him and that is a big, big quality. It is incredible that we are in January and we have only played him twice. We have not really seen the impact we believe he could have on the team.”
Arsenal currently sit in 10th place in the league once again, but only because so many teams below have games in hand. Our next Premier League opponents, for example, sit just two points behind us. Leeds have two games in hand, however, with Southampton and Palace, both also two points beneath Arsenal, having one.
“I think it is going to be a big bonus if we can keep him fit,” Arteta continued. “He is a special character and hopefully we can see him on the pitch finally.”
Thomas Partey was taken off injured as Arsenal lost 1-0 at Villa Park.
Partey was replaced by Willian after 75 minutes when the midfielder went down injured.
Updates as soon as they are available.
Arsenal have just announced their team for the game against Aston Villa and Mat Ryan gets his first start for Arsenal:
Arsenal lineup: Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette
Subs: Runarsson, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Ceballos, Odegaard, Willian, Martinellie, Aubameyang
5 February 2021
Mat Ryan fit to start for Arsenal
Goalkeeper is one position where Arteta has to make a change for Arsenal’s game vs Aston Villa. Bernd Leno picked up a one-match ban for his handball on Tuesday, and this is that one match.
The big question is whether Mat Ryan will be fit. If he is, you’d expect him to start, given the amount of Premier League experience he has compared to Runar Alex Runarsson. Otherwise, Runarsson will be making his first league start in England.
Right now, it looks like Ryan has passed his late fitness tests. Icelandic reporter Hjörvar Hafliðason, who seemingly has links to Inaki Cana and Runar Alex Runarsson, claims Ryan will start.
Arsenal injury news update 4 February 2021
Mat Ryan is still not back in training
Kieran Tierney looks doubtful for the game against Aston Villa with Mikel Arteta saying, ” We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible, and we are here to support him as much as we can.”
Arsenal lost Bernd Leno against Wolves when he was sent off but with no Mat Ryan to turn to, Arsenal had to bring on Alex Runarsson, so when will the Aussie be back?
Mat Ryan has been conspicuously absent from the Arsenal squad since his signing as he’s been recovering from a hip problem.
When he gave an update before the calamity at Wolves that saw Arsenal lose 2-1 after two sendings off, including one of the most farcical you’re ever likely to see, Arteta said “Mat is unavailable for Tuesday’s match. Hopeful to be back in full training in the coming days.”
That sounds relatively positive so we can hope he is fit for the game against Aston Villa.
Last week, when Arteta said that both Pablo Mari and Dani Ceballos would be in training in the ‘coming days’ it was around three before they returned.
Speaking after the game, Arteta added, “He had a muscular issue and in the last two days he hasn’t been able to train. Hopefully we can get him back in the next few days.”
We have four before we have to play Aston Villa…
Bukayo Saka was left out of Arsenal’s squad to face Manchester United that drew 0-0 on 30 January, 2021, and Alexandre Lacazette was taken off injured so what’s up?
Bukayo Saka was left out of the squad as a precaution due to a sore hip.
Alexandre Lacazette was replaced late in the second half by Eddie Nketiah. The Frenchman was injured when he jumped for a high ball and Harry Maguire bumped him:
Latest Arsenal injury news updates 1 February 2021
Arsenal have issued another update ahead of the game against Wolves:
Auba has returned to full training. Our thoughts and support continue to be with him and his family.
Left calf. Dani has returned to full training and his availability will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s match.
Right calf. Pablo has returned to full training and his availability will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s match.
Right hip. Mat is unavailable for Tuesday’s match. Hopeful to be back in full training in the coming days.
Right hip. Missed Saturday’s match with a sore hip. Bukayo has now returned to full training and his availability will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s match.
Kieran is continuing to be assessed for discomfort in the right lower leg. Kieran is unavailable for Tuesday’s match.
In an update to Mikel Arteta’s comments below, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out of quarantine, Bukayo Saka is back in training, as is Alexandre Lacazette and Pablo Mari.
Although Auba is back in training with Arsenal, he has not trained for over one week.
It is not clear if he will be fit to play vs Wolves on Tuesday evening.
Understand Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back with Arsenal today. Unsure whether he will feature tomorrow night, however, given he's gone over a week without training.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) February 1, 2021
Bukayo Saka also appears to be in training:
Alexandre Lacazette and Pablo Mari in training:
Mikel Arteta spoke with the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Wolves on Tuesday.
Is Martin Odegaard ready to start?
Let’s see today how everybody is. We have some other issues in the last few days as well, so today we’ll have a better picture of who is available to play tomorrow. Then we’ll put the players who are completely fit to start the game.
How are Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney?
We don’t know yet [if they’ll return]. Today we’ve got a training session and they haven’t been able to train with us yet, so I think it will be really difficult for them. But I don’t know, we’re going to try to last-minute see how they are feeling.
What about Alex Lacazette?
We have to follow the protocols, that we have to test him and make an x-ray. He was completely fine after the game, he was fine yesterday and he has slept well. I’m expecting him to be available.
Is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of quarantine?
There’s still some things to clear up. Maybe yes, maybe no. We don’t know. We’re still doing some paperwork at the moment.
Early Arsenal team news vs Manchester United: Odegaard, Partey, Aubameyang
As Arsenal prepare to face Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, some information is emerging about which players might be involved.
Starting off with the bad news, Chris Wheatley reports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be available for the game. There was some speculation that he might have trouble with quarantine after going to visit his family over his mother’s health issue.
The rest of the updates are largely positive. TheAFCBell write that Thomas Partey passed his late fitness test on Friday, so he’ll make the squad. Martin Odegaard will also reportedly feature in the matchday squad.
Emile Smith Rowe, another injury doubt after Tuesday, looks to be ready for involvement as well. He was in training on Friday with the team, and James Benge reports that it was just cramp that forced him off against Southampton.
Similarly, Kieran Tierney trained with the squad in the last couple of days. Sam Dean reported earlier this week that the left-back’s injury is nothing serious, and he should be available for United.
Mikel Arteta wasn’t giving anything away on the injuries in his press conference, as you’d expect.
There are still a couple of unknowns ahead of kick-off. Pablo Mari and Dani Ceballos returned to training this week, but it’s not clear whether either are available to feature. Ceballos is by far the more likely of the two.
To sum up, it looks like Arsenal will be missing Aubameyang, Mari, and possibly Ceballos. The rest of the squad should be available for selection, and debutant Odegaard will be involved for the first time – likely on the bench at first.