It is five weeks since Gabriel Jesus underwent surgery on the knee injury he sustained at the World Cup and the player is, according to manager Mikel Arteta, recovering at the rate expected by Arsenal’s medical staff.
While the summer signing is doing everything he can to return to action as soon as possible, it sounds as though the club will not be taking any unnecessary risks in his rehabilitation.
When Jesus initially suffered the issue – reported to be a meniscus and partial collateral ligament injury – it was estimated that he would be sidelined for at least two months.
So far, the Gunners have steadfastly refused to speak publically about a prospective return date and it was much the same today when the boss was quizzed ahead of the north London derby.
“He’s progressing really well, he’s working really hard, he’s in the right place in his recovery in relation to the time that we set for him, but he’s still a bit far [off a return], to be fair,” said Arteta.
“I’d like to see him very quickly but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’re going to have to be patient with that one and let’s see.
“It’s a complicated surgery and when there’s surgery there a lot of things you have to be very cautious [about] especially in the first few weeks.
“He’s a player who is going to push everybody there [in the medical and fitness teams] to be really fast on the pitch but we have to be cautious.”
As things stand, the Gunners are leaning on Eddie Nketiah to cover the Brazilian and are working hard to add further firepower to the flanks in the form of Ukrainian Mykhailo Mudryk.
Arteta has also hinted that Emile Smith Rowe, who returned from four months on the sidelines in the midweek 3-0 win over Oxford United, is an option as a false nine. The manager is keen to give further minutes to the 22-year-old who was so influential prior to his injury.
“It’s great to have him back, he felt good, it was his first minutes after months. He’s worked so hard to be in the position he is today,” said Arteta.
“Now we have to give him minutes and get him involved in the team because he’s a very important player for us.”