Injury update on Odegaard, Jesus and Partey

Martin Odegaard in action against PSV Eindhoven

Ahead of our trip to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update on Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey.

Our skipper was rested on the weekend against Sheffield United having played despite struggling with a hip problem in recent weeks, and now the boss is weighing up whether to continue to leave him out of the side ahead of fourth round tie on Wednesday, or get some minutes under his belt ahead of Saturday’s visit to Newcastle United.

Mikel was appreciative of Martin’s desire to play through the pain barrier, and having named him on the bench against the Blades was pleased he didn’t require him to give him the best possible chance of being fully fit again soon.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the boss said: “We rested him the other day, so it’s how long we rest him for and how we manage the minutes and the rhythm that he needs to be at his best. We had the opportunity to [rest him] and we didn’t use him in the end.


“It’s impossible to play with no niggles in football, and at this level, when you have games every three days, it’s impossible. If you try to do that, you better stay in bed, because I don’t know any players who are constantly perfect and in the best possible condition, so you have to adapt to that.


“Every player is the same, they are willing to push the boundaries. We have players who have been out for six weeks and they were back in either three-and-a-half or four weeks for big matches and made an incredible impact. When you talk about changes in mentality, this is a big thing. Not only him, but all the physios and doctors, and your teammates pushing you to demand you to be there, because you are needed. That’s what we need.”

One player who typifies that race for fitness is Gabriel Jesus, who picked up a muscle issue against Sevilla last week and also missed the Sheffield United game. Mikel hopes to have him back sooner rather than later, given the striker’s capacity to return quicker than expected.

“With him, I’m honestly not going to give [a timeframe]. I did it once and got it totally wrong. We need to be cautious because we need to treat it in the right way. He’s already pushing everybody and wants to be back as quickly as possible, and we need him, so that’s great.”

However the news isn’t so good when it comes to Thomas, who has played just 15 minutes in our last 11 matches thanks to a groin issue, and then an unrelated muscular complaint picked up in training before our trip to Spain last week.

“I think he will be out for weeks,” Mikel revealed. “I don’t know how long but he’s got another appointment today and we will see more after that.

“It is a big concern because when Thomas is fit and available and he’s been part of the team, we’ve seen the results and the impact that he had. This season we have more protection especially for that reason because we know in the last two seasons what has happened and the result it had on the team. We had to address that and now it has happened. 

“It can happen in football and I’m so sorry for him because I think he is doing every single thing he can do right to be there. He was gutted and we are for him, but he needs to lift himself up again with our support and go again because he’s a player that is critical for us.”

Read every word from the pre-West Ham United press conference

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