Arsenal injury update: Partey, Saliba and Nketiah latest return dates
rsenal head into the final part of the season with an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table – but with fresh injury worries, too.
The fitness of midfield star Thomas Partey continues to worry Mikel Arteta, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba both picked up injuries before the international break to leave their participation during the rest of the season either over or very much in doubt. Mohamed Elneny is another longer-term absentee after knee surgery.
While defence and midfield look more and more depleted, there is good news on the striker front with Gabriel Jesus now back in the first-team fold and ready to play his part in the run-in. Perfect timing, with Eddie Nketiah struggling with an ankle injury.
Here are the latest updates on Arsenal injuries and return dates…
Arsenal are facing fresh Thomas Partey fitness concerns after the midfielder was an unused substitute during Ghana’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola on Monday.
Ghana boss Chris Hughton revealed after the game that Partey was struggling with “a small injury issue”, throwing his participation against Leeds on the weekend into doubt.
In his post-match interview, Hughton said: “Thomas has some small issues, a small injury issue and we felt it was too big of a risk to start him. The strategy defensively was that Angola has some very good technical players, especially in the attacking areas. So we knew that defensively we would have to be good and we would have to be solid.”
In a reported bid to ensure Partey avoids injury during the international break, Arsenal sent club physio Simon Murphy to Ghana with the midfielder.
Saliba was another early casualty after Sporting, picking up a back injury inside 20 minutes and subsequently missing Arsenal’s win over Crystal Palace and having to withdraw from France’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Mikel Arteta confirmed before the international break that there would be clarity over Saliba’s injury at the same time as Tomiyasu, but the club have been silent on the matter. “We hope Willy is going to be better news but again we have to wait to understand a better picture,” Arteta said.
Reports in France claim Saliba is facing a number of weeks on the sidelines, in what would be a huge blow to their title hopes.
Tomiyasu picked up a knee problem during the opening stages of Arsenal’s Europa League exit to Sporting, being forced off after stretching for the ball. The right-back was pictured leaving the Emirates Stadium in a knee brace and on crutches.
After being assessed, Tomiyasu was ruled out for the rest of the season having required surgery.
An Arsenal statement read: “Following his substitution during last Thursday’s Europa League match, subsequent assessments have confirmed that Takehiro Tomiyasu sustained a significant injury to his right knee.
“Tomi has had successful surgery in London on Tuesday and will be ruled out for the remainder of this season.”
An ankle injury has kept Nketiah out since the beginning of March, with his last start coming in the dramatic comeback win over Aston Villa.
The return of Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard has helped ease Arsenal’s shortage in forward areas, which is just as well as Arteta confirmed Nketiah has a “big challenge” to return from the injury.
Speaking before the international break, the Arsenal boss revealed the striker was still wearing a protective boot, with his return to fitness certainly not imminent.
“He’s getting better,” Arteta said. “He’s still in the boot and still a few weeks away. We need to be patient.
“It was a nasty injury and he has a big challenge ahead of him. Thank God it could have been worse. So he’s not in a bad place.”
Elneny underwent knee surgery in January after picking up a significant injury in training, and the club confirmed afterward that the Egyptian midfielder would miss an “extended period of time”.
A more exact timeframe for his return has not yet been given, but Elneny is not expected to return before the end of the season. Arteta said: “Mo has had successful surgery and will be ruled out for an extended period of time. A more detailed timescale will be established once the early stages of rehab have been completed.”
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