Declan Rice was taken off at half-time during the north London derby clash on Sunday, and it came as a bit of a surprise for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates as the Gunners maintained their unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Rice – who moved to Arsenal in the summer from West Ham for a club-record fee of £105m – was taken off at the break after he felt “discomfort”.
Arteta said after the match that it was “strange” that they had to substitute Rice and shared what the England midfielder told him. The Gunners boss hasn’t revealed the extent of the injury but hopes that Rice will come back soon.
“He had some discomfort in his back,” Arteta said, as quoted by talkSPORT.
“He was telling us during the first half that he was uncomfortable and when we assessed him at half-time he could not continue, so we had to change him.
Asked whether Rice may be out for the short or medium term, Arteta added: “Hopefully not. We have to assess him. It’s strange when a player like him asks to come off because he’s uncomfortable. Hopefully not, but let’s see.”
Growing injury list for Arsenal
Losing Rice was a considerable period will be a massive blow for the Gunners who are already missing a host of key players through injuries.
Jurrien Timber (knee), Thomas Partey (groin), and Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring) are already out for a while, the squad has been further weakened by the absence of Leandro Trossard.
Trossard limped off during the final training session ahead of the match, and it’s unclear how long he will be out of action.
The Belgian may have suffered a hamstring injury and there is a hope that he won’t miss a long stretch.
Jorginho – who replaced Rice at the break – failed to impress though. The Italian gave the ball away in his half and it was punished as James Maddison fed the ball to Son Heung-Min, who equalised for Ange Postecoglou’s side.