Arsenal have learnt the extent of Thomas Partey’s latest injury.
Rushed back from a previous thigh injury for the North London Derby, Thomas Partey was forced to hobble off at the end of the first half as Arsenal slumped to another disappointing Premier League defeat.
The Ghanaian inexplicably walked off in the middle of a Sp*rs counter-attack, an action he shouldn’t have taken but one that indicated the severity of the issue.
His return was a surprise in the first place, having looked set to be out for the remainder of the calendar year, but persistence from the 27-year-old and necessity from Arsenal to field the best players available royally backfired.
Now Partey, with a previously near faultless injury record, is preparing for a second spell on the sidelines having only played 90 minutes on three occasions since joining from Atletico Madrid.
Mikel Arteta revealed that the midfielder would miss ‘the next few games’, and while that remains the case, TheAFCBell, who peddled his initial signing and whose close contact and sources over the summer revealed a close connection to Partey, have expanded further.
"“Thomas Partey does not suffer from any tears or cuts, as the injury was diagnosed as a muscle strain in a location close to the previous injury, but not the same.“No need for any surgical intervention.“Thomas started his treatment program on Wednesday and the club will follow up on its response daily. The club sees January as a possible return date.”"
No surgery being required is welcome news. The timeframe set for his return, however, not as much.
That it isn’t a recurrence of the previous injury is fortuitous as that would spell an either lengthier absence, but January being set as the possible return date opens up a whole new can of worms. Arsenal play six matches before the turn of the year: five league outings and a Carabao Cup quarter-final showdown with Manchester City.
To label this period as season-defining is no understatement, as the gap between the Gunners and the top four could be insurmountable in just a couple of weeks’ time. Even now the distance, albeit mathematically achievable, looks perilous when factoring in Arsenal’s dire form.
Any fixture poses a wealth of difficulties. Remove Partey from proceedings and the task becomes considerably more daunting. The month just got a whole lot harder.