Arsenal came back from the long enforced lockdown looking in pretty good shape, with just Calum Chambers on the long term Arsenal injury list, but now after just two games (or two defeats should I say!) we are now looking in serious trouble.
Granit Xhaka lasted just minutes of our very first game against Man City, and the medical team have already said his ankle is sprained and he will return to training “in a couple of weeks”.
Pablo Mari lasted 25 minutes longer in that game, but his ankle problem is worse, and is described as “significant injury which is currently undergoing further specialist assessment.”
Cedric Soares, who has yet to play a game for us and may never will if we go on like this, was hit by a ball in training and has a broken nose (sorry, nasal fracture) and will return in a couple of weeks as well.
Lucas Torreira, who had a long term ankle problem but we thought would be ready for the restart, is still in rehab after his recovery and won’t return to training for the next “two to three weeks”.
The big Greek Sokratis has only got a “Mild strain to right thigh” but he is also out for the next two weeks as well.
Then we have Bernd Leno, who was stretchered off yesterday against Brighton, could be out for a week or a year until we get the results of his tests. Arteta said “It’s a knee injury, I think he had a hyperextension of the knee and we have to assess the damage.” So, that is a wait and see, but according to onlookers it looked very bad indeed. Let’s assume that he will be a long time Arsenal injury victim and we won’t see him again this season.
So that is seven players out with injury, plus of course David Luiz, who won’t be travelling to Southampton after his red card, and it looks very likely that Matteo Guendouzi will also get some sort of ban for his attack at the end of the Brighton game.
Mind you Ozil is yet to kick a ball since the restart, maybe Arteta will be forced to play him now.
Picking a team to face the Saints will certainly not be easy for Arteta at all…