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Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus injury recovery timeframe offered by Xhaka as Arsenal star backs Nketiah to fill void

11:47 WAT 07/12/2022
Gabriel Jesus worried Brazil World Cup
Granit Xhaka has provided an injury update on Arsenal teammate Gabriel Jesus and has backed Eddie Nketiah to step up in the striker's absence.
  • Jesus aggravated a knee injury against Cameroon
  • Xhaka gives optimistic recovery timeframe
  • Backs Nketiah to fill in Jesus' shoes

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilian has undergone surgery to resolve a knee problem that he had been dealing with for several weeks at Arsenal before the World Cup. Jesus took to the field against Cameroon in the World Cup group stage, which aggravated the issue. His Arsenal teammate Xhaka hopes that he will only be out of action for "two or three months", but the forward is yet to begin his rehabilitation programme after going under the knife.

WHAT THEY SAID: ''I spoke with him straight after the Cameroon game. We have contact (with) each other, with all the players we have here in the World Cup,'' The Switzerland midfielder said when asked about Jesus after his country's last 16 World Cup exit at the hands of Portugal. ''It’s a shame because you saw in the first round of the Premier League how important he is for us. I don’t know how big the injury is, maybe two or three months, I think. But he is a strong guy.

''It’s a small injury for him I think, and we will support him. He knows that we are behind him and hopefully we can get him back as quick as possible.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Xhaka hopes that Nketiah will make the most of the opportunity to cover for Jesus and step up his game under Mikel Arteta to keep Arsenal's title ambitions on track. "We have the option with Eddie, of course,'' he added. ''He showed great games as well in the past and we need to support Gabi first. We need to support Eddie as well, because he will be a big, big part of the next two or three months. But I am looking forward to it because we have the quality to bring Eddie there and to help him.''

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? The Gunners are making the most of the World Cup break and will play three friendlies against Lyon, AC Milan, and Juventus respectively. They will return to competitive action on December 27 to take on West Ham in the Premier League.