Updates from Tuesday, Jan. 28
Updates from Monday, Jan. 27
Mikel Arteta is back for Arsenal's league trip to Southampton.
The Mirror's John Cross notes from Arsene Wenger's press conference:
Mikel Arteta will play no part in Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round tie against Coventry.
Arsene Wenger confirmed the news, via the club's official Twitter account:
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta remains sidelined due to a calf injury and is likely to miss at least two more matches before being ready to return.
The Gunners' official site passed along comments from manager Arsene Wenger about the injury situation. The longtime boss said Arteta, along with Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey, won't face Fulham and will probably miss the upcoming FA Cup match as well:
[O]n Arteta (calf), Vermaelen (knee) and Ramsey (thigh)…
"Ramsey and Arteta are both out for this game. Vermaelen too. I personally believe the three will miss the Coventry game as well and will be available after that."
James Olley of the London Evening Standard reported ahead of Arsenal's league clash with Aston Villa that Arteta didn't even travel with the squad due to the injury:
Arteta not travelled due to a calf problem. Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench. #afc— James Olley (@JamesOlley) January 13, 2014
Luckily for Arsenal, it doesn't sound like Arteta is going to miss many matches. Based on Wenger's timeline, he would be available for the Premier League game Jan. 28 against Southampton. Of course, that's subject to change should he suffer any setbacks in training.
More worrisome is the trend of calf injuries for the talented midfielder over the past couple seasons.
He missed time with a calf strain last January and then pulled his calf again late in the campaign. Now, he's once again missing action due to calf problems, which is more of a concern than if he dealt with three separate injuries because it has seemingly developed into a chronic issue.
It becomes a delicate balancing act for Arsenal because they will want him back in the lineup as soon as possible but also don't want to risk a more serious injury.
Arteta has been a stabilizing force in a defensive role for the club.
Ultimately, he's a key piece of the puzzle as they chase the league title. Arsenal need to make sure he's healthy for the stretch run.