Mikel Arteta expected more significant injury from Bernd Leno but revealed that Arsenal had suffered yet another injury blow to striker Gabriel Martinelli.
Goalkeeper Leno appeared to have suffered a serious injury when he was taken off on a stretcher on Saturday following a collision with Neal Maupay during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Gunners, however, revealed that Leno had suffered in his right knee just from a minor ligament sprain, and he is expected to return to training in four to six weeks.
Arteta told a media conference: “We thought this would be a more serious injury. We don’t know the severity of the injury, but at least we know that the cruciate ligaments aren’t affected. That was the greatest concern at the beginning.”
Granit Xhaka and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are both back in full training after their injury, but Arteta is uncertain if either will be available for the trip to Southampton on Thursday.
“We haven’t fully practiced with the team; let’s see how we will be tomorrow. They are not ready yet,” he said.
the Gunners won’t be able to rely on his one player, Martinelli, who is on the sidelines after injuring his knee during training for months.
Martinelli’s Arteta said: “We had some bad news yesterday [Monday]-he got hit by another player in training. He injured his knee. The doctors are assessing the severity of the injury, but it doesn’t look promising at all. It looks like months.”
Besides their injury issues, Arsenal has the complication of having to extend the stays on Tuesday by midnight (local time) of loaners Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, and Dani Ceballos-as well as that of David Luiz.