Mikel Arteta expects Pablo Mari to be absent for a few games after picking up a calf problem in training.
Arsenal announced prior to last night’s draw with Crystal Palace that the Spaniard was being rested as a precaution, however, in his post-game press conference the boss revealed the issue was likely to keep the centre-back sidelined for a while longer.
“No,” said Arteta when asked if the centre-back might return for Monday’s game against Newcastle.
“He has a calf injury that happened in training yesterday. I think he will miss a few matches.
“He’s another one that we lose, but we’ve got Gabi [Magalhaes] back after the Covid, which is good news and we’ve got Thomas back as well. Let’s focus on the positives.”
Pablo was in good form during a run of four-consecutive first team performances although, in retrospect, he did play a lot of football in a short space of time for a player who has only just returned from a long-term ankle problem. Luckily we still have lots of guys who can cover.
The absence of Kieran Tierney, who also pulled out of the Palace game late in the day, presents a bigger headache. Worryingly, the boss wasn’t sure how long the influential Scot might be absent.
“We don’t know [how long he’ll be out for]. We’ll probably know more on Friday after testing him and knowing more about the injury and how long he’s going to be out for.
“Certainly it was a big disappointment on the day of the match to lose him, but hopefully he can be with us very quickly.
On coping without the 23-year-old, he added: “It is a challenge when you create a game plan for the day and just a few hours before the game he has to pull out. But we have other players to do it and they have to step in. Kieran’s progression over the last few months has been incredible and now it’s for another player to step in and do what he does.”