Team News: Arsenal confirm huge double injury blow, 9 players could miss Saints trip
Mikel Arteta could be without nine players for Thursdays trip to Southampton
Arsenal have confirmed a major double injury blow with Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari both set for extended spells on the sidelines.
During the team news update on Arsenal.com ahead of Thursday’s trip to Southampton, the club confirmed that Martinelli suffered a knee cartilage injury in training on Sunday and is now being assessed to determine the full extent of the problem.
However, Mikel Arteta later told reporters at his pre-match press conference that Martinelli’s injury ‘is not looking good at all’ and confirmed the Brazilian attacker is facing months on the sidelines – which is a huge blow.
The club have also revealed that Mari is set to miss up to three months after suffering an ankle ligament injury during Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last week.
It was only Mari’s third appearance in an Arsenal shirt since arriving on loan from Flamengo in January but he’s still done enough to convince the club to sign him on a permanent basis.
Granit Xhaka also picked up an ankle injury against City and missed the defeat at Brighton on Saturday while Sokratis hasn’t featured since the restart due to a thigh problem that he suffered in training.
Arteta says the duo are not yet back in full training with the rest of the squad yet so they will need to be assessed today before a decision is made over their availability for the trip to Southampton.
Areta told Arsenal.com:
on whether Sokratis and Xhaka could be in contention for Thursday…
Well, we don’t know yet – they haven’t trained fully with the team yet. Let’s see how they are tomorrow and if they can be involved in any way with the squad. But they are not yet ready.
on Martinelli’s injury…
Yeah, we had some really bad news again yesterday. In training in the last action he got hit by another player and he’s damaged his knee. The doctor is assessing the extent of the injury, but it’s not looking good at all. We don’t know (how long he’s going to be out for), but it’s looking like months.
Cedric Soares is close to returning to full training after undergoing surgery on a broken nose but he won’t be in contention to face Southampton while David Luiz will serve the final game of his two-game suspension.
Lucas Torreira is still at least two weeks away from returning to full training as he continues to overcome an ankle ligament injury that he sustained earlier this year while Calum Chambers is also working his way back from a knee injury.
There was some positive news with Arsenal confirming that Bernd Leno’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared. The goalkeeper was stretchered off with a knee injury against Brighton and it looked as though he had severely damaged his ligaments – which would have ruled him out for around nine months.
However, the club have revealed that Leno has only suffered a moderate sprain to his knee ligament and is hoping to return to training in four to six weeks. He’s unlikely to play again this season but at least our number one will be fully fit for the start of the new campaign.
So Arteta has plenty of injury concerns to worry about ahead of Thursday’s game with Southampton at St Mary’s and the boss will be without nine players if Xhaka and Sokratis are ruled out.