Mikel Arteta provides pessimistic update on Eddie Nketiah injury

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Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta has admitted that Eddie Nketiah continues to be “just a few weeks away” from recovering from an ankle injury.

The English striker had carried out admirably within the absence of Gabriel Jesus throughout the earliest portion of 2023 however has not performed because the 4-0 win over Everton two weeks in the past.

Nketiah had been dropped from the beginning lineup for that success over the Toffees, in addition to Arsenal’s earlier overcome Leicester City on account of his ankle drawback, though it’s unclear when he first sustained the problem.

In any case, the 23-year-old has been compelled to sit down out Arsenal’s final three matches in all competitions, leaving Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli to rotate within the quantity 9 function.

Current reviews have claimed that Nketiah might now stay within the remedy room till after the worldwide break, and Arteta was requested about his restoration forward of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg towards Sporting Lisbon.

Eddie Nketiah in action for Arsenal on January 9, 2023.

Whereas the Gunners boss confirmed that the Hale Finish graduate was bettering from the “nasty” drawback, he admitted that it might nonetheless be just a few weeks earlier than he might return, doubtless ruling him out till April.

“He is getting higher, he is nonetheless within the boot and nonetheless just a few weeks away, we must be affected person,” Arteta stated in his pre-game press convention. “It was a nasty injury and he has an actual problem forward of him, however thank god he might have been worse, so he is not in a nasty place.”

Predominantly that includes up prime throughout Jesus’s restoration, Nketiah has 9 targets and two assists from 32 video games in all tournaments this time period, and Arteta was working with out all three of his central choices for the primary leg at Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Nevertheless, Jesus made his long-awaited return from knee surgical procedure within the weekend’s win over Fulham, whereas Trossard additionally made a fast restoration from a groin drawback to report three first-half assists at Craven Cottage.

Jesus might now come into competition for his first begin of the yr towards Sporting, however Arteta has however pressured the necessity to construct up the striker’s minutes steadily.

Gabriel Jesus in action for Brazil on December 2, 2022.

“It was nice to see him again, you may really feel the happiness of everyone round him. We missed him and now he is again,” Arteta added.

“We’ve got to handle his minutes, we have now to handle his involvement within the workforce, however he is feeling good and everyone at coaching says that his sensations are getting higher in order that’s actually optimistic.”

Arteta additionally has the choice of utilizing Emile Smith Rowe in a false 9 function, however the 22-year-old has not began a single sport this season on account of a groin injury, and Arteta has challenged him to battle for his proper to return to the primary XI.

“He is aware of how a lot we love him, we’d like his qualities and now he must show it. He must show how a lot he needs to win and the way a lot he’ll contribute to win and that is how he’ll get into the workforce,” Arteta added.

William Saliba was on goal for Arsenal within the first leg earlier than Goncalo Inacio and Paulinho turned the tie on its head, however a Hidemasa Morita personal aim rescued a 2-2 draw for the Gunners forward of their Emirates reunion.