Arsenal and Mikel Arteta may have avoided a massive injury scare ahead of the new season.
It was billed as a pre-season friendly between the Gunners and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, but there was an edge to the meeting at the Emirates Stadium and the 2-1 defeat would have hurt the hosts.
But what was more worrying was the sight of Thomas Partey limping off shortly before half-time.
The midfielder picked up an ankle problem at some point in the first-half, tried to continue, only to realise his race was run, and headed straight down the tunnel for further treatment.
Of course, an official injury update will emerge later today, but speaking to reporters immediately after the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta did not sound too confident.
“I just had a talk with the doc,” Arteta said. “He’ll have a scan tomorrow. At the moment it’s not looking good.”
Given the numerous fitness setbacks Partey suffered last season, this is hardly the best preparation for his first full campaign in English football – one where he’s expected to play a huge role in helping Arsenal get back in the top-four mix at the very least.
The severity of the ankle sprain will determine how long the midfielder is out of action for as medical expert Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT offered a best case scenario of just over a month on the sidelines.
“Found the specific mechanism of injury for Partey (see picture),” he wrote on Twitter. “This is typically indicative of a ‘high ankle sprain’ aka syndesmotic tear.
“These typically come with a 4-6 week return timeline if a grade 1 injury.”
Dr. Raj, DPT has since gone into greater detail about Partey’s injury and it could be good news for the Gunners.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, at around the 1.25-minute mark, he discusses the positive indicators around the situation, stating the fact that Partey was able to play on and walk off the pitch likely indicates no fracture.
Furthermore, amid a photo that has done the rounds on social media of Partey at an event after the game walking without a limp, him not being in a CAM protective boot is another good sign as that would have limited his activity.
Dr. Raj, DPT also cites Harry Maguire and Kevin De Bruyne as examples.
The former suffered a similar injury against Aston Villa on May 9, was immediately put into a CAM protective boot and ended up missing five weeks of action before returning for England at Euro 2020.
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Meanwhile, De Bruyne didn’t need a protective boot at the tournament, didn’t miss a match for Belgium, although he did play with some discomfort.
The latter would certainly be somewhat of a boost for Arsenal and Arteta especially with games against Chelsea and Manchester City coming up later this month.
With that said, having Partey pain-free would be beneficial long-term.
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