Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arteta on Timber’s staged return and Jesus’ knee issues

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have organised an in-house match for Jurrien Timber to step up his return to fitness and they expect the Holland international to also play for the club’s academy team before he’s given first team minutes.

It’s exactly eight months since the 22-year-old succumbed to an ACL injury on the opening game of the Premier League season and he faces a race against time to feature before the campaign ends on 19 May.

As someone who suffered a serious knee injury during their playing career, Arteta knows the final step towards game time is often the hardest.

“He’s still got a few steps to make,” said the boss when asked about Timber ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa.

“He needs to play a game at least within the under-23s [he means under-21s]. He’s going to have an in-house game soon as well. He’s done everything in training.

“Now he’s getting that match fitness and having people around him and starting to compete in a football match, which is different to training.”

Asked what the full-back will bring to his side, Arteta continued: “Hopefully a lot. From everything that we’ve seen in training and the time that he was fit [in pre-season], I think he’s going to have a big, big impact on the team.”

Looking elsewhere around the squad, there are reports that Gabriel Magalhaes missed training today although the manager hopes the Brazilian will still be available at the weekend.

Asked for his team news, he said: “We’ve got one more day to prepare the match and we’ll see tomorrow if everybody’s available. We have some [struggling], but hopefully with another day we’re going to be OK.”

Earlier in the week, Gabriel Jesus hinted that he may need another operation to resolve an ongoing issue with his knee. The striker claimed he doesn’t go a day without pain and admitted he’d be willing to sacrifice participation in the Copa America to get on top of a situation which is clearly affecting the number of minutes he can play for Arsenal.

Arteta wouldn’t confirm whether his player was in need of a procedure, but he did praise his mentality.

“In elite sport, to play without pain is very difficult,” said the Spaniard.

“When you play every three days, especially and the level that we play at, if you ask any player they will say that yeah, sometimes there is pain and you have to deal with that.

Gabi has this toughness and this character that he always wants to overcome. He has overcome some difficulties in terms of injuries and he’s ready again.”

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Henkamp

Damn, it has never occurred to me how young Timber stil is, like Saliba! The next few years are going to be REALLY amazing when all these guys start to hit their peaks, having played together for years!

Bleeding gums Murphy

Really looking forward to Timber return. He looked really useful in few games he played. Particularly against city.

Ebo

I’d say even beyond useful, he looked exciting. It’s rare to be excited by a defensive player but the way he played, he was just popping up all over the pitch, making quick athletic plays both on and off the ball. I don’t think we’ll see the best of him until next season, but I do thing at his age he’ll make a full recovery eventually and could turn out to be one of the best fullbacks in the world.

C.B.

We need Gabby M, same as losing Saliba last season it would be a blow. Hope he makes it through.

And K*ne is a w**nker for hitting him.

Man Manny

Kiwior would fare better than Holding did last year. Besides, Tomiyasu by him at left back would be a nice insurance – something we couldn’t do last season because Tomi himself was crocked.

Daveo

Hairy Kunt was a wenker well and truly before that…

Y3mmxiii

He should have been sent off, I have no idea what a VAR for.

Baz

Totally forgot about this guy. I feel sorry for him not playing much of a part this year. Cant wait to see him in action next season and at full strength. Dare I say it…he’ll be like a new signing!

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