Bukayo Saka's injury update ahead of Arsenal's Premier League against Luton Town

The 22-year-old could not get into full flow during the Gunners' 0-0 draw with Man City

By Web Desk
April 02, 2024
Bukayo Saka. - Reuters 

Mikel Arteta has provided the latest update on the fitness of Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka ahead of Wednesday's Premier League showdown with Luton Town at the Emirates.

The 22-year-old was given the green light to start Sunday's top-of-the-table blockbuster with Manchester City, despite having to pull out of England duty with a long-standing muscular issue.

However, Saka could not get into full flow during the Gunners' 0-0 draw with the champions - thanks in no small part to Josko Gvardiol's standout performance at left-back - and he left the field with the physio in the second half.

The winger gingerly trudging to the sidelines has become a familiar sight this season, although Arteta stressed after the game that there was no flare-up of his previous injury - he was simply fatigued.

However, Saka's enforced withdrawal has led to the expectation that he could be rested for Wednesday's visit to Luton, especially given the tight turnaround time, and Arteta was asked about the winger's condition straight away in Tuesday's press conference.

The Spaniard affirmed that Saka was fine, but he kept his cards close to his chest when asked whether he might consider dropping him from the first XI, saying: "Yeah, he's fine.

"Obviously, we haven't trained, we've recovered and have a short live session today to prepare for the game, and we'll see whether he's in the best condition to start or not. We're just thinking about Luton and preparing for the game in the best possible way and earn the right to beat them."

Arteta also insisted that fellow winger Gabriel Martinelli - who made his comeback from a foot issue as a late substitute on Sunday - would be fine to go the distance in midweek, adding: "He is because he was available to play against a really tough opponent three days ago. Again, we'll train today and see the state of every player and make the right decision tomorrow."

As a result, only ACL victim Jurrien Timber should be absent through injury this week, but Arteta is optimistic that the former Ajax man will return to first-team action before the campaign is over.

"I think he has a good chance. I don't know the percentage, but I think he has a good chance and he's going to push it as far as he possibly can. He's doing very well, he's back training. He's not far off, but the thing is that last step, he hasn't played any minutes so does he need a game with the under-21s, does he need two games?

"We are going to have to see, especially because he's training with us and we need to see how long that will take him. That last part is tricky and sometimes takes a while. Hopefully, as soon as possible."