Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that Kieran Tierney has a knee injury but is hopeful he will return to full fitness soon.
The Scotland international has missed the Gunners’ last five games in all competitions and has been ruled out of the North London side’s upcoming Premier League clash with Leeds United.
It was initially believed that he had a lower leg strain that was primarily down to fatigue and that he would return to fitness soon. It still looks like he will be back in action in the near future but Arteta has revealed that the former Celtic defender is dealing with a knee injury. On the player, Arteta said:
“We have to see how the knee reacts when he starts to get a bit more load. He hasn’t had much left but he is very positive at the moment, he is in good spirits and he is desperate to get back in the team and we will see in the next few days, the moment he starts to train with the team and see how he is feeling and how he reacts.”
The 23-year-old has been one of Arsenal’s most important players this season. In the 2020/21 campaign, he has scored one goal and provided three assists in 23 appearances across all competitions.
He is one of the North London side’s best creative outlets as well as a crucial part of a rapidly improving rearguard. Tierney is the only left-footed left back at the club and in recent weeks, Cedric Soares has deputised for the Scotsman.
Soares has put in a series of impressive displays but that has not stopped Tierney’s absence from being felt. The Gunners need him to return as the side is significantly stronger with him in the team.
On how frustrating it is to not have him involved, Arteta said:
“To be fair we are getting used to it because we are missing so many players all the time, I don’t remember when we were able to play the same starting XI two or three times, I can’t even think about it. But it is what it is.”
“The players are making huge efforts, even the ones who are injured are willing to come back to play and this is what we demand of them and the ones on the pitch had to give their best and make it difficult for the ones who want to get back in. That is what we are trying to do.”
On if Tierney was expected to be out for this long, Arteta said:
“Well, we didn’t know. At the end of the day when you have pain and you are not comfortable and you are someone like Kieran who does everything 100mph you need to be in the right condition. When someone like him says it doesn’t feel right and that something is wrong you worry because you know how much he wants it as well. “
“He’s in a much better place now, in the last few days he’s feeling better, he’s training, he’s positive, he’s willing to come back early and help the team and hopefully we can have him soon.”
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