Mikel Arteta admits that Arsenal aren’t entirely sure when Thomas Partey will be fit but he made clear the midfielder has sustained a ‘significant injury’.
The Ghana international limped off during Monday’s defeat to Crystal Palace and three days later the club confirmed the midfielder would be seeking advice from specialists as he’s assessed over the coming weeks.
As things stand, he’s not been ruled out for the season but Arteta didn’t strike a particularly optimistic tone.
“It’s a little bit ambiguous but he has a significant injury and we’ll have to keep assessing him,” he told his pre-Brighton press conference.
“He will be out for some weeks. It could be [that he’s able to play again], but it could not be the case because it’s an area where he had a previous injury as well and he felt it straight away. He’s not fit.”
Partey’s injury came days after Tierney picked up a knee problem in training on his return from playing two internationals for Scotland.
The boss was asked about the full-back playing for his country and whether or not he “should have been looked after a little bit more”.
“Our responsibility is to look after them [the players] when we have them here. Once they go to the national team, it’s the job and responsibility of Steve Clarke [Scotland manager] to decide the team that is best to win the games. We have to try to have good communication with national teams, which we have but these things happen.”
While Tierney won’t feature again for the Gunners this season, Scotland supporters are hoping the defender will be fit for his country’s delayed World Cup play-off match with Ukraine in June; a match, that if they won, would set up a straight shootout with Wales for a place at Qatar 2022.
Arteta says it is too early to put a timeframe on his player’s return.
“I don’t know, he’s just had surgery yesterday. It’s very early to understand just how everything is going to develop. He’s going to be out for a period that we estimate but which condition he’s going to be after that period, it’s too soon to be able to say something.
“The player has to do the maximum that he can to be in the best possible condition as quick as possible. I’m sure Kieran will do that. Once he’s there, let’s see if he can compete and at what kind of risk.”