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'Spoke to someone close': Arsenal may yet have some unexpected injury news to come this season - journalist

Journalist Charles Watts has given an update on the injury recovery of Arsenal central midfielder Thomas Partey.

The initial prognosis was that Thomas would be out for the rest of the season, but Watts has spoken on YouTube about rumours that the anchorman could be ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation.

He said people close to Partey would not rule anything out but also cautioned against Arsenal rushing him back without proper match fitness or sharpness.

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Partey injury update

“I’ve seen suggestions doing the rounds on social media that he could be well ahead of schedule in his return to fitness. In that press conference ahead of the Southampton game, Mikel Arteta seemed to rule him out for the season, saying it wasn’t good news on Partey and he would be surprised if he played again this season.

“I spoke to someone close to Thomas Partey this morning and he said he wasn’t ruling anything out. But it’s just a case of let’s see how it goes. He said Thomas has a history of coming back from injuries a little bit quicker than expected. No-one’s right now, as far as I’m aware, looking at it and thinking Thomas is going to be involved for the final two weeks of the season or anything like that.

“Temper your expectations and your excitement when it comes to Thomas. He is clearly working hard, you’ve seen the videos on social media. He is doing all he can to be involved at some point between now and the end of the season but I don’t think Arsenal will be taking any risks.

“Even if he does return with a week to go, he’s missed all of that football, lacking match sharpness. You certainly don’t throw him in. You saw what happened when Arsenal threw him in against Tottenham last season when he’d been out for a long time, it backfired spectacularly. You don’t want something like that again.

“You want Thomas Partey to be fit because Arsenal are a better side when he’s playing but he needs to be bang up for it with match fitness. He’s trying, nobody is ruling anything out but it’s a case of wait and see how he comes through this period of rehabilitation.” 

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Thomas injury return would be bonus for Arsenal

It seems like, as it stands, it would be a welcome bonus if Thomas was fit to play any part in the crucial run-in but nobody at Arsenal is expecting it.

But the midfielder is certainly working as hard as he can to be back ahead of schedule, springing a surprise and trying to help Arsenal into next season’s Champions League.

Of course, as Watts says, Arsenal do not want to rush him back and suffer a setback so there has to be some longer term thinking at play here.

The form of players like Mo Elneny takes some of the pressure off because he has been so good that Arteta does not have to hurry Thomas back as quickly as he might have thought before.

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