Two injured stars set to return as Arsenal's title charge takes shape

The Gunners are aiming to win their first Premier League trophy since 2004

By Web Desk
February 23, 2024
Arsenal players celebrate after scoring a goal. — Reuters

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed that Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus are both "very close" to making a return from thigh and knee injuries, respectively but he couldn't assure their availability for Saturday's Premier League encounter against Newcastle United.

Partey has now spent over four months sidelined with a thigh injury sustained in October, which prevented him from representing Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023.

Despite briefly rejoining team training last month, a setback delayed his return but he was seen training with teammates before the Champions League last-16 first leg against FC Porto where the Gunners faced a 1-0 defeat, though he didn't feature in the match.

"Let's see. We have another session today and obviously he's been out for many, many months now and we need to really nail the timing and when he has enough in the tank to compete, but I think he's very close," Arteta said.

Meanwhile, Jesus has been out for the entire month due to a knee injury, but he is nearing a comeback. However, defenders Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (knock) require more time to recover from their respective injuries.

"It's the same with Gabby [Jesus] as well, he's done a few things. Alex [Zinchenko] is not far at all, and Tomiyasu is still a little bit more," Arteta added after providing the latest on Partey.

Jurrien Timber, who suffered an ACL injury in August, remains the last player in the Arsenal injury list. However, he was included in the Champions League squad for the knockout stages, indicating progress in his recovery.

Timber was seen training individually with the ball during Arsenal's warm-weather training camp in Dubai in January, and Arteta is hopeful that the 22-year-old will return to action before the season concludes.

"I really hope so, he's doing really well, he's been around some players on the pitch and we are going to start to do some bits with us in the next week or so," the Gunners boss said.