Arsenal released Team News with an injury update ahead of Thursday’s trip to Southampton, and it’s a mixed bag. The two biggest pieces of news are that Bernd Leno’s injury isn’t as severe as initially thought and that Arsenal are anxiously awaiting the results of a knee scan for Gabriel Martinelli, who got hurt in training on Monday.
I’ve been liking the way that bullet points have been working out for quick-hitter updates, so I’m going to stick with that. If you don’t like it, let me know.
- Bernd Leno: scans revealed a moderate ligament sprain suffered as a result of his
collisionvicious attack by Neal Maupay. The keeper should be back in full training in 4 to 6 weeks, which means he’s likely out for the rest of the season. We took an in-depth look at the keeper depth chart and options should Leno be out longer than expected.
- Gabriel Martinelli: UPDATE: Mikel Arteta has said the timeline for Martinelli is ‘months.’ According to David Ornstein and confirmed by the club, he complained of left knee pain after training on Monday evening and had a scan done earlier today. The concern is that he may have suffered some degree of meniscus damage. Arsenal will know more about the severity of the injury in the coming days. Meniscus injuries range from 2-3 weeks on the shelf for a minor one to surgical intervention and several months recovery for the more severe ones.
- Granit Xhaka: had a sprained right ankle but is back in full training. Despite his limitations, Arsenal have dearly missed his passing and ability to link up play through the midfield. If he’s ready to play on Thursday, he’ll get the start.
- Sokratis: back in full training after a mild right thigh strain. Increasing the number of fit and not suspended first-team centerbacks from two to three is a good thing.
- Pablo Mari: significant sprain to ligaments in his left ankle. He’s expected to miss two to three months. If Arsenal make his loan move a permanent transfer, that would put his return somewhere around or shortly after the 2020-2021 season is expected to start.
- Cedric Soares: working towards full involvement in training. The right back should make his Arsenal debut sometime after this weekend’s FA Cup match against Sheffield United. The club are reportedly looking to sign him to a new, three year contract before he’s made a single match appearance. It’s good work if you can get it, I guess.
- Lucas Torreira: aiming to return to full training in two to three weeks after fracturing his ankle on March 2nd against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
As we’ve said time and again, there were always going to be more injuries during Project Restart because of the quick turnaround. Arsenal have been particularly hard hit, especially at centerback. Other than the extremely worrying Martinelli news, things are slowly getting better, but that might be because Arsenal haven’t played a match since Saturday. The Bernd Leno news is definitely a big positive, though.