Mikel Arteta has admitted to Sky Sports (broadcast on 14/1; 22:20) that he does not know whether Kieran Tierney will return for Arsenal on Monday after missing their latest game.
The Gunners were dealt a big blow ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace. They confirmed on Twitter that both Tierney and Pablo Mari were missing due to injury.
The pair have been two of Arsenal’s best performers in recent weeks. It was suggested that it was precautionary move to take the left-back out of the team due to muscle tightness.
And unfortunately, Tierney’s absence did appear to hurt the home side at the Emirates. They played out a disappointing goalless draw with the Eagles.
And following the game, Arteta was asked whether he is expected to be back for the visit of Newcastle.
“I don’t know, it depends how he evolves. He’s going to have an MRI scan tomorrow to see how he is,” he told Sky Sports.
Admittedly, there are just a few days between the games against Palace and Newcastle. So it may have been optimistic to hope that Arteta would suggest that the Scotland international would be back.
But given that the club suggested that he was missing as a precaution, you could understand if fans felt hopeful that they would hear that Tierney was on track to make an immediate return to the side.
Of course, that could still be the case with Arteta not ruling him out. But his answer may well concern some of the supporters.