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Arsenal injury update: Timber, Zinchenko, Jesus

Bad news and good news.

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

It just wouldn’t be Arsenal without injuries, right? We’re one match into the season and the Gunners are already without £150M or so in talent due to various issues. Jurrien Timber is the latest injury casualty, joining Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Mohamed Elneny in the training room in North London.

Here’s the latest news on their injuries and when they’re expected back.


Jurrien Timber
Expected return: unknown

UPDATE: The Athletic confirm that Timber has sustained a serious knee injury and will be out for a “lengthy” spell. Further tests are needed to determine the full severity.

Arsenal’s new signing underwent a scan on Monday to determine the severity of the injury he picked up against Nottingham Forest at the weekend. Timber seemed to injure his left knee / leg late in the first half putting in a tackle on Brennan Johnson. He received treatment on the pitch, went off, and came back on.

After the match, Mikel Arteta said there was concern about how he landed on his right knee in the challenge (not the left one that appeared to be receiving the initial treatment) but that he was evaluated at halftime, “the physio and docs looked at him and were happy to continue.”

A few minutes into the second half as he was backpedaling, Timber pulled up and went to ground grabbing at the back of his right knee / leg. After the match, Arteta said he hoped it was Timber’s calf and not his knee.

For what it’s worth, Timber tweeted the “back soon” emojis on Saturday after the match. But reports are starting to trickle out online that the injury is a serious one that could force him to miss several months. There is talk about possible meniscus damage. At time of writing, an ACL injury has not been ruled out.


Gabriel Jesus
Expected return: early to mid-September

The Arsenal striker had a procedure to clean up his surgically repaired right knee after experiencing some discomfort and irritation during preseason. It was a disappointing blow for the Gunners because Jesus looked to be back to the transformative attacking force of last fall that took the offense to another level.

The Brazilian has been posting positive messages with pictures of himself in the gym, rehabbing, leading to speculation that he might be back sooner than initially anticipated. Mikel Arteta was quick to tamper expectations down however, saying “It’s a bit early still. Less than two weeks since the operation. Hopefully he can start to do some stuff next week. He’s doing really well to be fair. But it’s something we’re going to be cautious and make sure he comes back in the right way.”


Oleksandr Zinchenko
Expected return: Crystal Palace, August 21st

Ahead of the Nottingham Forest match, Mikel Arteta said he expected everyone save Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny, to be available. It came as a bit of surprise, therefore, when Zinchenko was not named to the matchday squad. Presumably Zinchenko was back in training late last week but not quite ready and the team didn’t want to risk him aggravating the calf injury that has plagued him since last spring.

Zinchenko’s return and continuing health is even more important to Arsenal with Jurrien Timber potentially being out for a while. Timber was signed to provide cover for the oft-injured Ukrainian, and having a fullback who can step into midfield to help in the build up and with ball retention is an important part of Mikel Arteta’s setup. The dropoff in Arsenal’s play when Takehiro Tomiyasu came on for Timber against Forest was stark.


Mohamed Elneny
Expected return: September

Elneny underwent knee surgery at the end of January to repair a significant knee injury that most suspect was an ACL tear but was never confirmed. He returned to running outside in May and joined the club on the preseason tour in the United States. He has been training with the team in some capacity since and is moving towards a return to being available for selection. The extent of his role once fit remains to be seen.


Reiss Nelson
Expected return: was in the matchday squad against Nottingham Forest

Nelson missed most of the preseason tour of the United States with a foot laceration that required stitches to heal. The cut must have healed sufficiently because he was in the squad for the Premier League opener.