Arteta: Saka injury doubt after limping off in north London derby

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits Bukayo Saka may be unavailable for their next two fixtures after limping off during Sunday’s north London derby.

The 22-year-old has featured in the club’s last 86 Premier League matches, a record stretching back to May 2021, but the England international has now become the latest injury worry for the Gunners, ahead of their trip to West London to face Brentford in the Carabao Cup tomorrow evening.

Arteta added that midfielder Declan Rice has also not trained since exiting the pitch at halftime in Sunday’s 2-2 home draw against Tottenham, but has ruled out Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli and Thomas Partey for tomorrow’s match, on top of the long-term absence of defender Jurrien Timber.

The Arsenal boss said: “He [Saka] was limping quite badly after the match as you know. We had to get him off the field, which is never a good sign as well. He hasn’t been able to participate in the session. It’s a possibility [that Saka will miss the next two games].

“Declan hasn’t trained yet. Hopefully it’s not something big. We are confident. Obviously, he had to leave the pitch and that’s never a good sign for a player like him, but hopefully he will progress in the next few days.”

Arteta dismissed the start of their Champions League campaign last Wednesday as an explanation for this recent spate of injuries. However, the Spaniard did suggest the large volume of matches some of his players have played since the start of last season may instead be contributing to the current shortage of fit first-team players in his squad.

He said: “It’s the situation that we have at the moment. The squad that we have at the moment is really short and we need players back, that’s for sure.

“We’ve only had one Champions League game, and it’s still early. It’s true that they’ve played with the national teams and it comes from a season that they had a World Cup and some players played 60 odd games.

“It’s a lot of things, but, as well, we’ve been unlucky with the injury of Jurrien for example, which is for other reasons. There are some dramatic injuries, others that are more muscular and we try to find the right reasons to try to avoid them, but they’re a part of football.”

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