Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has suggested that Henrikh Mkhitaryan could feature again this season after he suffered a knee injury last week.
The 29-year-old sustained the problem in the win over CSKA Moscow in the Europa League, and there were fears that he could be ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
Particularly in Europe where the Gunners are without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to ineligibility, Wenger will undoubtedly be desperate to have all of his options at his disposal in order to try and book their place in the Champions League next season.
While he has conceded that Mkhitaryan will be ruled out of their next three games, he hasn’t given up hope that he could return before the end of the year to give them late boost.
“He will not be available for Thursday and not for Newcastle next Sunday,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun. “And certainly not the week after against West Ham. He will miss these games for sure.
“He could still play at the end of the season.”
Arsenal seemingly didn’t miss him too much this weekend as they bagged three goals in a win over Southampton, but as he showed against AC Milan in the last round of the Europa League, his experience and quality at this level in Europe is crucial to his side’s hopes of progressing.
They’re in a strong position against CSKA after taking a 4-1 first-leg lead ahead of their trip to Russia this week. If they make it through though, the semi-finals will take place on April 26 and May 3, and Wenger will hope that’s enough time for Mkhitaryan to recover or at least make the final if they manage to progress.