Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confident Declan Rice will be available against Manchester City

The pain in the back of Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice intensified so much overnight that it restricted his movement, according to the Daily Mail.

The England international was substituted at half-time of the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday due to a back discomfort.

Rice is currently undergoing tests to establish the extent of the injury, but Arsenal are confident that he will not be a long-term injury absentee.

Manager Mikel Arteta even believes the 24-year-old would be available for selection when his side take on Manchester City on October 8 at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners drew 2-2 with Spurs, with the absence of Rice contributing to the result, and they cannot afford to be without him for such a crucial game.

He is likely to miss the Carabao Cup clash against Brentford on Wednesday, next Saturday’s trip to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth in the seventh Premier League game of the campaign and the midweek trip to France to face RC Lens in the Champions League afterwards.

While Rice reported major pain in his back in the hours after the derby, such discomfort can be usual for such injuries, and Arsenal medics are hopeful that he will not be missing for a long period of time.

They are still to figure out the next steps towards his return to full fitness, but concerns are easing that it is not a serious injury, and Arteta will hope that turns out to be true in the coming days.

The Gunners boss could also be handed triple injury boosts, with attacking duo Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli expected to return from their hamstring injuries in time to face Man City, while midfielder turned right-back Thomas Partey is making good progress from a groin injury and closing in on a return.

The last thing Arsenal need right now is having some of their key players unavailable, and Arteta will be worried ahead of the Man City game given that it could have a huge say on their title chances.

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