When David Luiz limped off during Sunday’s game with Newcastle United, it looked like his season might be over.
Making his comeback after seven games on the sidelines with a knee injury, he lasted 52 minutes before ping his hamstring making a pass. Having worked so hard to make a swift return, he looked disconsolate and was consoled by a number of his teammates as he trudged to the dugout.
While the seriousness of the problem is yet to be confirmed, the boss sounded relatively upbeat when he faced the media ahead of Thursday’s must-win Europa League semi-final second leg with Villarreal.
“No [there is no update],” said Arteta. “He was feeling better yesterday. Let’s see how he is today. We don’t know the extent of the injury yet.
Asked if the centre-back could be available tomorrow, he added: “With David it’s always possible because he wants to be available.
“He’s made an incredible effort to be in the position that he’s in today and the fact that he played against Newcastle was already a big bonus. He had surgery on his knee so with David, you never know.”
Given his declaration this time last week that Kieran Tierney and Alex Lacazette were both fit – neither were included in the squad for the Villarreal or Newcastle matches – we suspect this could be more mind games from Arteta who will want to be doing everything he can to throw Unai Emery off the scent.
That said, hopefully, the injury isn’t too bad and Luiz will be in with a chance of featuring again before the season is over.