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Wenger: Henrikh Mkhitaryan ‘should be out for two more weeks’

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It looked minor. Then it wasn’t. Now there’s a timetable for his return.

Arsenal FC v CSKA Moskva - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg One
Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return to the Arsenal lineup much sooner than originally expected.
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Lost in the post-match shuffle of the 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow and Arsenal advancing to the Europa League semifinals was an update on the status of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Arsene Wenger told reporters that the Armenian could return from his knee injury in two weeks. Wenger did not say if that meant return to training or return to the lineup, but for an injury that was feared to be season-ending, any return is good news.

Mkhitaryan suffered his injury just as he was rounding into form for the Gunners. His creativity was taking some of the burden off Mesut Özil and even though he had only scored two goals, his willingness to shoot was creating space and adding variety to the attack. Arsenal’s first leg 4-1 drubbing of CSKA Moscow was one of the club’s best performances this season - Mkhitaryan was a big part of that.

Two-weeks from now, Arsenal play the first leg of their Europa League semifinal tie with Atlético Madrid. Pure speculation here, but since the game is right on that two week number, I suspect Mkhitaryan will not be match fit by then. Given how Wenger has handled injury returns in the past, a more likely scenario is Mkhitaryan gets a run out that weekend against Manchester United and then starts against Atléti in the second leg.