Arsenal defender Pablo Mari will miss the next few matches, according to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who is awaiting news of the injury suffered by Kieran Tierney in training.
Centre-back Mari had started each of Arsenal’s last four games, but was forced to sit out Thursday night’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Mari injured his calf in training on Wednesday and Arteta does not expect to have the 27-year-old available again for a while.
“He had a calf injury in training,” revealed the Gunners boss. “I think he will miss a few matches. He’s another one that we will lose.
“But we’ve got Gabriel [Magalhaes] back after Covid, which is good news, we’ve got Thomas [Partey] back as well. So let’s focus on the positives.”
Mari’s setback comes on top of the injury to Tierney, who suffered a muscle problem on the day of the Crystal Palace game that saw him withdrawn from the squad.
The Scotland international was due to have a scan on his calf on Friday to determine the extent of the problem, with Arteta unsure how long he could be sidelined for.
“We don’t know [how long he’ll be out for],” said the Spaniard. “We’ll know more after testing him and knowing more about the injury.
“Certainly it was a big disappointment on the day of the match to lose him, but hopefully he can be with us very quickly.”
One boost for Arsenal on the injury front was the return of Thomas Partey against Palace.
The £45 million ($61m) summer addition from Atletico Madrid played the last 25 minutes on Thursday night, making his first appearance since suffering a thigh injury against Spurs on December 6.
Partey made four tackles in the short time he was on the pitch - only Granit Xhaka (6) made more - and showed why Arteta is so convinced he will transform the Arsenal midfield once he is fully fit.
“He’s made the right step,” said Arteta.
“Obviously he hasn’t played much football in the last four months. He had an injury run exactly the same place that he had before when he got injured against Spurs.
“Now we have the reassurance that he can compete for 25-30 minutes. He did well, he didn’t feel anything, so now we’re going to be looking for the next step.”