Arsenal are set to resume the Premier League season when they take on Newcastle United at the Emirates on Sunday, following the winter break which reportedly did the team a lot of good. Be that as it may, head coach Mikel Arteta spoke to the press ahead of the game and provided some updates on the situation with injured players.
Left-back Kieran Tierney, who hurt his shoulder by falling awkwardly in the West Ham clash back in December, has been ruled out and will likely need a few weeks more. It was confirmed that he was back in training in Dubai, but it was restricted to strictly non-contact work which obviously means his shoulder is still too sensitive for him to play.
The good news on that front is that the other left-back, Sead Kolasinac, has returned to full training after a thigh injury and is in contention to face the Magpies. It was extremely important for the Bosnian to be ready, especially given that the man that had been playing on the left defensive flank in the absence of both Kolasinac and Tierney, 18-year-old winger Bukayo Saka, is now himself injured. The teenager pleased Arteta with the way he stepped in to help the team, and his injury, the result of a foul by Burnley’s Matt Lowton in the last league game, is not too serious. He might even be in contention on Sunday, though with Kolasinac fit, it remains to be seen whether the boss will risk him.
Reiss Nelson has recovered from a hamstring issue and trained fully in Dubai. He should be available for selection. On the other hand, newcomers Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares aren’t ready yet to make their Arsenal debuts, and as you probably know, Calum Chambers will not play again this season, having torn his ACL.