The Arsenal injury “crisis” seems to be mostly over before it’s even begun. Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, and (surprisingly) Thomas Partey were all in training ahead of the Gunners’ Champions League match at RC Lens on Tuesday. Declan Rice, who played at the weekend, was also in training.
Throughout last week, Mikel Arteta suggested that the back problem that forced Rice off at halftime against Tottenham was still making him “uncomfortable” but that may have been gamesmanship. It certainly seems as if he’s shaken off whatever the issue was because if it was still a real concern, I doubt he’d be training.
Likewise with Bukayo Saka. Arteta spent all of last week telling reporters that Saka wasn’t training and was in pain after limping off late in the Tottenham match only to see him play (and seem completely fine) at the weekend. Saka hobbled off the pitch (again) in the Bournemouth match, but as he often does, bounced back quickly to train today, seemingly without issue. I don’t doubt that he’s banged up and that the various knocks leave him battered, bruised, and sore. It just seems as if we need to raise our threshold for true concern about whether he’s going to play. He seems to be exceptionally capable of shaking off knocks / playing through them. Of course, I’d prefer that he not have to do that in the first place, but at least he seems able to do so.
Leandro Trossard was fit enough to make the bench against Bournemouth, so it’s not a surprise that he was in training. It’s good news, nonetheless. With Trossard back in the fold, Mikel Arteta at least has the option to play Gabriel Jesus through the middle, which makes the entire Arsenal attack more potent, although Eddie Nketiah had a strong, bounceback performance against the Cherries after a poor showing against Spurs.
Thomas Partey’s return is a pleasant surprise. The reports had been that his recovery from a groin problem was ahead of schedule and progressing well. There was hope he’d be available to face Manchester City on October 8th. That he’s training on Monday is a strong indicator that he’ll be available for selection on Sunday.
Saka, Trossard, and Partey all training means that Gabriel Martinelli and Jurrien Timber are the only players on the shelf, for now. The reporting on Martinelli was that Arsenal expected he’d be available to face Manchester City this coming weekend. There hasn’t been anything to contradict that as yet. We know Timber is going to be out for several more months recovering from a torn ACL.
Elsewhere, Kieran Tierney left Real Sociedad’s match over the weekend with an injury. Unfortunately, it looks as if he’ll be out for a few months with a significant hamstring problem.