Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Emile Smith Rowe will return to full first team training today as the youngster looks to prove his fitness ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League first-leg clash with Olympiacos in Athens.
The midfielder was substituted off in the 3-1 win over Leicester on 28 March with a muscular problem and sat out the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.
“He’s close to returning,” Arteta said on Wednesday morning. “He’s going to have a full session today to see if he can be involved in tomorrow’s game. After training, we’ll know where we stand with him. ”
The boss has rotated his squad a fair bit in recent weeks so it’s unclear if other players are struggling with an injury or if they’ve simply been rested. We’re still waiting for a formal update from the club’s medical team.
The Gunners face a season-defining week with a North London derby against Spurs sandwiched between the two games with Olympiacos. On the horizon, we also have tough games with in-form West Ham and Liverpool.
“We have a massive week with the next four games that we have in a short period,” noted Arteta.
“We have to manage the squad, but obviously, the main game is tomorrow. We have to focus on that because tomorrow’s game is going to help us for the weekend and next week. We have to focus on that.”