Mikel Arteta insists he has no regrets about playing Thomas Partey in Sunday’s north London derby, despite confirming the midfielder will miss ‘the next few matches’ with a reoccurrence of his thigh injury.
The Ghana international had missed almost a month of action having initially picked up the injury during the defeat against Aston Villa on November 8.
But he worked tirelessly to be fit into to face Tottenham last weekend and was cleared to play having completed two full days training ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Arteta then started him against Spurs, only for the £45 million deadline day addition from Atletico Madrid to break down just before half-time of the 2-0 defeat which left Arsenal languishing in 15th place in the Premier League
And the Arsenal boss has now confirmed Partey is set for another spell on the sidelines, although he has not yet put a timeframe on when he could be available again.
“He got injured in the same area,” said the Spaniard. “Not exactly the same spot, but similar as it was before.
“We MRI [scanned] him yesterday [Tuesday]. There was an injury there and he will miss the next few matches.”
Arteta has come in for some criticism following Partey’s injury, with many believing he was rushed back too early for such a crucial game.
But the Arsenal boss is adamant that was not the case and that the player had gone through all the necessary checks to ensure he was ready to return.
“No,” he said when asked if Partey had been rushed back.
“He did incredibly well. He was very confident. We tested him three times. He had zero symptoms about it. But in football, you have a lot of unpredictable actions and he went into the floor, his knee got stuck.
“After he needs to stretch and get up. Immediately he put a lot of stress in a similar area and he felt it again.
“After it was said it was a bit too early, I don’t think it was because he was completely fine to play.”
Partey will now definitely miss Thursday night’s Europa League meeting with Dundalk in Ireland and next week’s Premier League meetings with Burnley and Southampton at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal then travel to Everton before playing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on December 22 and Chelsea on Boxing Day.