Thomas Partey ‘very close’ to Arsenal injury return, says Mikel Arteta


Mikel Arteta says that Arsenal need to “nail” exactly when Thomas Partey is ready to compete before he will reintroduce him from injury.

The Ghanian midfielder has been out since October after undergoing thigh surgery but suffered a setback in his recovery last month.

He trained with the first-team before the first-leg defeat to Porto on Wednesday but did not travel with the squad and Arteta did not confirm whether he will be involved against Newcastle.

“Let’s see. We have another session today,” Arteta said.

“He’s been out for many, many months now. We need to really nail the timing of when he has enough in the tank to compete. But I think he’s very close.”

He confirmed that Gabriel Jesus is in a similar situation having aggravated his knee and that Oleksandr Zinchenko is not far away from returning having been out since going off at half-time against Liverpool.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is sidelined with another calf injury but long-term absentee Jurrien Timber could still play a part before the end of the season.

“I really hope so. He’s doing really well,” he said.

“He’s been with some players on the pitch. He’s going to start to do some bits with us on the pitch in the next week or so.

“Then we’ll have to see how he’s doing, his confidence level, his fitness level. Hopefully the answer will be yes.”

With several prominent players missing for large chunks, Arteta is hopeful that he will soon have the biggest squad at his disposal as he has all season.

“Obviously we have missed some big players and we still are. You have to adapt to that.

“We want them back, we need them back and we need them as quick as possible.

“We know the impact that those players will have when we have the full squad ready.”

GO DEEPER

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