Mikel Arteta says Takehiro Tomiyasu is facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines having aggravated a calf issue during Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool.
The Japan international wasn’t part of the squad that drew 0-0 with Burnley and is understood to have pulled out of his country’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers with China and Saudi Arabia.
It remains to be seen whether the full-back flies with his teammates to Dubai to take part in a warm-weather training camp or if he stays in London.
“Tomiyasu had an injury and we didn’t have anybody to play in that position against Liverpool,” explained Arteta on Sunday evening.
“He really wanted to push, he tried and he played the 90 minutes, and he felt it again. So he will be out for a couple of weeks.
“Right now he needs to recover, his only focus has to be to have the best possible treatment. To look after himself, and try to be available for us as quickly as he can.
“He will be out for a few weeks.”
In Tomiyasu’s absence, Ben White filled in at right-back while Rob Holding partnered Gabriel in the centre of defence. With Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka banned and heavy legs seeming to affect some of the young players on whom we’ve been so reliant, the Gunners produced a ponderous performance against Burnley. The two dropped points do little for our top four chances.
“I saw them try right to the last minute,” reflected Arteta.
“They’re really tired, we know in the last four weeks that we had a really demanding and challenging situation because we didn’t have enough players.
“Some players have been sick, injured, trying to bring them back, trying to expose them onto pitches when they’re not ready, but I cannot fault how they tried, they certainly need some days off, but then we need to go back again and bring players back and start to work and start winning matches.”