Arsenal and injuries: a match made in H-E-double hockey sticks. I’m sure it’s just perception bias and that supporters of every club would tell you their players are always hurt but it feels as if Arsenal players are always getting hurt. Some of that is to be expected — it’s preseason and guys are vulnerable because they’re not yet back in the swing of things. But it’s frustrating.
Fortunately, the Gunners aren’t in too bad of shape. Martin Ødegaard was a late scratch from the Nurnberg match after a knock in warmup. Mikel Arteta described his captain as “not feeling good enough to play” which reads to me as a precautionary measure more than anything else. Slightly more concerning is Leandro Trossard, who left the match early with an injury issue of his own. Arteta said it was “hopefully not” anything major.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has returned to training, sat out against Nurnberg with the same calf problem that has been plaguing him since the season ended. He’s expected to miss a few more preseason matches. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him until the Premier League season starts, but that’s just my guess and not based on any medical information.
Gabriel Martinelli, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Mohamed Elneny are all back in training but were not in the matchday squad against Nurnberg. Their respective recoveries continue apace and they should / may feature in a preseason match at some point. There is no cause for concern about any of them as Arsenal move toward the regular season.
Marquinhos was held out against Nurnberg with a slight problem picked up during training camp in Germany. Mikel Arteta didn’t speak specifically to his injury, but said generally of his players, “we had other players with issues picked up in the week so we have to be cautious. It’s preseason and some of them have only had two or three training sessions so we’ll take it step by step.” Rob Holding was also held out of the match, although that may have been in anticipation of a loan / transfer move.
William Saliba was a surprise and extremely welcome inclusion in the starting lineup against Nurnberg. It would seem as if he has recovered from the back problem that forced him to miss the stretch run of last season. Back injuries can be tricky, so it’s a relief to see Arsenal’s star centerback in action before most expected he’d make his return.
There likely won’t be any injury updates until media availability in the United States early next week. Arsenal returned to London from Germany likely after the match on Thursday and are scheduled to fly to the U.S. on Sunday.