Mikel Arteta says it’s still too early to put a timeline on Gabriel Jesus’ return to action.
It was confirmed ahead of the Emirates Cup win over Monaco that the Brazil international would miss the start of the season after undergoing a procedure on the same knee he injured at the World Cup in December.
On that occasion, the player was sidelined for three months but the latest setback is not thought to be anywhere near as serious.
All the same, the club are going to take their time with the 26-year-old knowing there’s a long season ahead.
“It’s a bit early still, it’s only less than two weeks since his operation,” said Arteta on Friday.
“He’s doing really well to be fair and next week hopefully he can start to start doing some activity but it’s something that we want to be cautious and make sure that he comes back in the right way.”
Arsenal’s only other absentee heading into the new season is Mo Elneny who continues to ramp up his rehab on a knee injury of his own. He’s been sidelined since January and will likely feature for the under-21s before any first team involvement.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jorginho and Reiss Nelson were all spotted in training last week so appear close to competing for inclusion in Arteta’s matchday squad. That said, given the Ukraine international missed a big chunk of pre-season with the calf problem he picked up in May, he’s another they may well choose to be cautious with.
“I think everybody is going to be available, obviously we have Mo still out and Jesus still with an injury but the rest should be fine,” reported Arteta.
Arsenal open the campaign against Nottingham Forest at the Emirates in the early kick-off on Saturday. It’s the first time we’ve played at home on Matchweek One in five years.
“We love playing at the Emirates,” said Arteta. We love playing in front of our people. We have created an incredible atmosphere and the boys and everybody I think they can’t wait to be there tomorrow ready for the kick-off and to put on the performance that they deserve and we want to do.”