Arsenal Boss Confirms Huge Double Injury Blow Ahead Of Atletico Madrid Clash
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a double injury blow with Mo Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out of Arsenal’s Europa League first leg with Atletico Madrid.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a huge double injury blow with Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both ruled out of Arsenal’s Europa League first leg with Atletico Madrid.
Elneny was stretchered off and replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the first half during our 4-1 victory over West Ham this afternoon after rolling his ankle while being challenged by Mark Noble.
The Egyptian international looked distraught as he left the field sparking fears he had seriously damaged his ankle and may not only be ruled out for the rest of the season but also put his participation at the World Cup finals in jeopardy.
Wenger has confirmed Elneny’s ankle is ‘very painful’ and has already ruled the midfielder out of the first leg with Atletico on Thursday but the boss says we’ll have to wait for x-ray results to come back before we’ll know the full extent of the injury.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
“It’s an ankle problem that is very painful,”
“Overall I believe that we have to wait until the X-ray to know a little more about it. But Thursday will be too soon for him.”
The news comes as a major blow as Elneny has been in great form recently and would have been a serious contender to keep his place in the middle of the park against Atletico so he’ll be sorely missed.
In a double blow, Wenger also confirmed that Mkhitaryan won’t be available for the Europa League first leg as he continues to work his way back from a knee ligament injury.
The Armenian international was hoping to be fit in time to face Atletico having returned to light training last week but Wenger says the game will come too soon for the playmaker.
The boss was unable to confirm Mesut Ozil’s availability for the game after he missed the win over West Ham today through illness so he’ll need to be assessed over the coming days.
Thankfully, there was better news on Jack Wilshere as the midfielder had a solid training session today after recovering from an ankle injury that’s kept him out of the last two games and Wenger feels he should be back in contention on Thursday.
The boss told Arsenal.com:
“Jack had a training session today and he looked positive so he has a good chance to be available for Thursday,” said the boss.
“Ozil was sickness [flu] so I cannot tell you much more about that. We will have to see how he recovers tomorrow [Monday].
“But Mkhitaryan won’t be available on Thursday.”
It would be a nightmare if Ozil was also ruled out but I’d be shocked if he wasn’t passed fit to face Atletico as this isn’t the first time he’s been struck down by a mystery ‘illness’ this season.
However, Mkhitaryan’s absence is a big blow and we’re going to have to rely on Danny Welbeck or Alex Iwobi to play alongside Ozil in attack on Thursday night.
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