Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney 'likely' to miss rest of the season with knee injury & World Cup play-off concern for Scotland

Kieran Tierney, Arsenal 2021-22Getty

Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney is "likely" to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Gunners have confirmed.

The full-back picked up the problem in training last month and, after seeing a specialist, it has been decided it requires surgery.

As well as missing the remainder of Arsenal's Premier League games, the 24-year-old could also now be a doubt for Scotland's World Cup play-off against Ukraine, which is currently scheduled for June.

What has been said?

In a statement Arsenal said: "Kieran felt discomfort after a training session on Thursday, March 31. Further assessments and scans have confirmed that Kieran has damaged his left knee.

"A specialist consultation took place on Tuesday, and as a result of further discussions with Kieran and our medical team, it has been decided that Kieran requires surgery to his knee. This procedure will take place in London in the forthcoming days.

"Kieran’s rehabilitation programme will start immediately after his surgery, at which stage a clearer understanding will be established on his recovery timescale. However, it is likely that Kieran will now miss the remainder of this season.

"Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Kieran to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible."

In addition, Arsenal said midfielder Thomas Partey is continuing to be assessed after picking up a thigh issue against the Eagles on Monday.

View from Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts

This is a real blow to Arsenal’s hopes of securing a top-four spot this season.

The biggest issue for Mikel Arteta is that Nuno Tavares, who is Tierney’s understudy, is suffering from a major crisis of confidence at present.

He was withdrawn at half-time on Monday night after being given a torrid time by Crystal Palace and Arteta must now decide whether to give the young Portuguese left-back another opportunity.

If he opts against using Tavares, he would potentially have to use Granit Xhaka as a makeshift left-back. But with Thomas Partey also facing up to some time on the sidelines with a thigh problem, that would leave Arsenal very short in central midfield.

Arteta has been fairly fortunate when it comes to injuries so far this season, but the loss of Tierney at such a crucial stage of the campaign is a hammer blow.

And with right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu not expected back in full training until after the Southampton game on April 16, Arsenal’s options on either side of the back four are suddenly looking very limited.

The bigger picture

As well as a blow for Arsenal, it is also bad news for Scotland manager Steve Clarke ahead of that summer meeting with Ukraine.

The play-off was originally scheduled for last month but was postponed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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The game has been rescheduled for June, though that date could change again because of the ongoing conflict.

When the game is eventually played the winner will play Wales for a place at Qatar 2022.

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