Takehiro Tomiyasu's calf injury is worse than initially feared and the defender might not play for Arsenal again until February.
The Japanese international has struggled with injuries since he joined the club, and his latest setback arrives just when he was rebuilding some momentum in north London. Mikel Arteta's greater emphasis upon security and control saw Tomiyasu reintroduced to the fold at the start of 2023/24,
The former Bologna star, after a quiet second season, had notched over 1,000 minutes of action across all competitions this term before he succumbed late on in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Wolves on Saturday.
Tomiyasu, as expected, missed the dramatic 4-3 triumph over Luton Town in midweek, but the Gunners are now going to be without the stout defender for a lengthy period.
Why Takehiro Tomiyasu may not play for Arsenal again until February
While Arteta was initially optimistic that Tomiyasu wouldn't miss much time at all, the boss said after Tuesday night's win: "We had a scan and it’s not good news. He’s got an injury in his calf and he’s going to be out for a while."
It's since been revealed that the defender is expected to be out of action for at least four to six weeks, with Tomiyasu writing on Instagram that he's 'sick of being injured'. However, with the 25-year-old competing in the 2024 Asia Cup in the new year, Tomi might not feature for the Gunners again until February presuming that everything goes smoothly with his recovery.
His absence is a significant blow for Arsenal, who have several big fixtures upcoming over the busy festive period. The versatile full-back would've undoubtedly been tasked with shutting down Mohamed Salah when the Gunners visit Anfield on 23 December.
With Jurrien Timber still out for a while, Tomiyasu's latest setback could convince Arteta to dip his toe in the defenders market this winter. We saw how a lack of squad depth at the back killed Arsenal during the backend of last season, and the boss won't want to take any risks this time around with his side once again in a strong position.