Mikel Arteta seems to think Thomas Partey will sit out the final five weeks of the season due to the injury he sustained at Crystal Palace earlier this month.
The Ghanaian limped off with a thigh issue and while the club were reticent to rule him out completely, the latest update on the player’s fitness is not positive.
“The news that we got after having another assessment, they are not great,” he said ahead of Saturday’s match with Southampton.
“It’s not looking very positive his availability this season. We’ll have to wait and see, he’s trying to get back as quickly as possible but at the moment, we are not very optimistic about it.”
On Partey’s injury being a serious blow given Kieran Tierney has already been ruled out, Arteta continued:
“Yes, at the moment it’s not ideal. We knew that towards the end of the season, one of the key elements was to have the team available and the squad available as much as possible.
We have a few issues, as well with [Takehiro] Tomiyasu but we need to continue to compete and work the best possible way.”
While rumours have circulated that Alex Lacazette might not be fit for the trip to Saint Mary’s, the boss hinted that the Frenchman, who wasn’t spotted in this week’s training footage, should be fit.
Pressed on the striker’s absence, Arteta said: “Obviously, there are private reasons that I cannot comment on but I have no other team news to give apart from the guys we have discussed.”
Asked a second time about Laczazette, he revealed: “We will see if he’s available, there’s a good possibility that that’s the case.”
Already down to the bare bones, Arsenal will be desperate to avoid further fitness blows if we’re to maintain a push for the top four.
“We try to do the best that we can,” said Arteta when asked if special measures were in place at this time of the season.
“Monitor the players, give them the right training sessions and we haven’t had a lot of injuries this season.
“We have some important injuries now to very important players in a crucial moment of the season and we want to try and avoid that, and if possible get them back as quick as possible.”