Unai Emery has revealed it was decided two weeks ago that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would sit out Arsenal's trip to Wolves on Wednesday.
Arsenal’s top scorer was absent at Molineux as the Gunners saw their top-four hopes take a major hit following a humbling 3-1 defeat.
It was announced just before kick-off that Aubameyang would not feature because he had undergone what was described as a "small sinus procedure" - something club sources insist was not an operation.
The striker has now returned to full training and is expected to return to the starting XI for Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash at Leicester City.
And ahead of that trip to the King Power Stadium, Emery has revealed that Aubameyang had been playing with his sinus problem for the past month - with club doctors insisting the issue needed to be resolved.
“We were waiting and the doctor was telling us we need to do it as quickly as possible for him,” said Arsenal’s head coach. “We decided two weeks ago to do the match in Wolverhampton because we needed to do it.
“It was one infection and he needed to clear that infection.”
The decision for Aubameyang to miss the trip to Wolves - which was potentially Arsenal’s toughest-looking game during the run-in - is a surprising one, especially when considering the frontman played the full 90 minutes away in Napoli in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final.
Emery’s side travelled to Italy with a 2-0 lead from the first leg and ended up cruising through to the semi-finals thanks to a 1-0 success in the Sao Paolo stadium.
But the Spaniard insists there were no regrets about the decision that was taken.
“We decided not against Crystal Palace, not against Napoli - but the doctor was speaking us to do it as quickly as possible because he [Aubameyang] needs to do that.
“We decided Wolverhampton not because it was the best, but because it was the moment.”