Arsenal boss Arteta delivers Smith Rowe injury update as star recovers from surgery
- Playmaker has been out since September
- Had to undergo an operation
- Working his way back towards full fitness
WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old playmaker has been out of action since early September, with just four Premier League appearances taken in this season. A niggling groin problem ultimately forced Smith Rowe to undergo surgery, ruling him out of England’s 2022 World Cup plans, but he is edging his way towards fitness once more and could have a key role to play at Emirates Stadium over the second half of the campaign.
WHAT THEY SAID: Arteta told reporters when asked for an update on Smith Rowe after a friendly outing against Lyon in Dubai: “With Emile, he has returned to training and he's in that process after we rehab, after a period where he had some real discomfort. So we are giving him time - he's getting closer and closer. So hopefully in the next few weeks, we'll be able to see him.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal have had to contend with a number of injuries in 2022-23, with Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus unfortunately picking up a knee issue that required surgery on World Cup duty, and Arteta admits that he has big decisions to make heading into the January transfer window. He added: “I feel like my squad is really good. Unfortunately, we've had injuries and we will try to see what we can do to be strong. We have players, we have a lot of accompanying players. [The question is] do we have the players that can give us the performances and the consistency that we need to maintain and improve from where we are?”
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WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? The Gunners will be sat top of the Premier League table at Christmas for the first time since 2007 – with 12 wins and 37 points taken from 14 games so far – and they will be back in competitive action after the winter break when playing host to London rivals West Ham on Boxing Day.