- Tomiyasu injured against Sporting
- Had to undergo knee surgery
- Sidelined for rest of season
WHAT HAPPENED? The Japan international earned a rare start in the Gunners' last-16 second leg match against Sporting last week, but had to be brought off after nine minutes having overstretched to defend an attack. Arsenal have since revealed that Tomiyasu was required to have knee surgery as a result of that injury, meaning he will be unavailable for the remainder of the season and Premier League title race.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Following his substitution during last Thursday’s Europa League match, subsequent assessments have confirmed that Takehiro Tomiyasu sustained a significant injury to his right knee," a club statement read. "Tomi has had successful surgery in London on Tuesday and will be ruled out for the remainder of this season. Everyone at the club will now be working hard with Tomi, so he can join pre-season training ahead of next season."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The news is far from ideal for Mikel Arteta, as he plans for the business end of the season with his side currently eight points clear of Manchester City in second. It will also have implications for Ben White, who is now the club's only recognised right-back with Cedric Soares currently on loan at Fulham. And even White was originally brought in as a centre-back.
Any further injuries to Arsenal's back line would be damning at this late stage, but Arteta will now be doing his all to protect White at all costs ahead of a congested end to the season. The Gunners boss will likely be relieved his only right-back was not selected in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad, giving him a crucial two-week rest period.
IN THREE PHOTOS:(C)Getty ImagesGetty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT? With White enjoying a well-earned break and Tomiyasu starting the early stages of his recovery, preparations will already be underway for when Arteta leads his side out at home against a resurgent Leeds side on April 1.