Eddie Nketiah remains “a few weeks away” from returning to full fitness, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed.
Nketiah injured his ankle in February but was not initially sidelined by the issue, only for further complications to force the 23-year-old to miss Arsenal’s last three matches in all competitions.
Arteta had even previously confessed he was unsure whether Nketiah’s injury was truly a serious one or whether he would only need a few weeks on the treatment table.
Asked for an update ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Sporting CP, Arteta confessed Nketiah has plenty of work to do before he will be able to return to competitive action.
“He’s getting better. He’s still in the boot,” Arteta said of the striker. “He’s still a few weeks away and we need to be patient.
“It was a nasty injury and he has a big challenge ahead of him. Thank God it could have been worse. So he’s not in a bad place.”
Nketiah, who penned a long-term contract extension last summer, has impressed for Arsenal this season, filling in admirably for the injured Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus is back after undergoing knee surgery and is now working on rebuilding his match fitness. The Brazilian managed a little over ten minutes off the bench during the weekend’s victory over Fulham and could ramp up his involvement against Sporting on Thursday.
“It was great to see him back you can feel the happiness of everyone, the players and the staff around him,” Arteta added of the returning Jesus. “We missed him and now he’s back.
“We have to manage his minutes, his involvement in the squad and the team. He’s feeling good and every day he’s training he says his sensations are better and better, so that’s really positive.”
On this edition of The Chronicles of a Gooner, part of the 90min podcast network, Harry Symeou previews Arsenal’s Europa League last 16 second leg against Sporting CP.
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