Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has painted a positive picture over seeing playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan feature again this season.
The 29-year-old limped out of the first leg of his side’s Europa League quarter-final tie against CSKA Moscow last week with a knee injury, and was in turn absent for the return fixture on Thursday night as the Gunners secured their place in the last four.
Having played a key role since his January move from Man Utd, the last thing that Arsenal would have wanted was to see him sidelined for a significant period of time, but Wenger has offered a positive update on his recovery, as seen in the tweet below from freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery.
Wenger suggests Mkhitaryan will play again this season: “He has a medial ligament strain, he should be out for two more weeks,” the Arsenal boss said following the draw in Moscow. “Do not be too worried. We have a very good medical staff and he is very serious in his rehab.” #AFC pic.twitter.com/XJb8fVvmyg
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) April 13, 2018
That would suggest that Mkhitaryan could be back for key games before the end of the season, with Arsenal especially needing him in the Europa League given the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to ineligibility.
As seen in the last-16 tie with AC Milan, the Armenian international’s quality at this level can make a real difference, and with Arsenal hoping to book their spot in the final and take a big step towards qualifying for the Champions League next season, Wenger will be desperate to see him return sooner rather than later.
The Gunners did well without him on Thursday as they got the result they needed to advance, but with the likes of Marseille and Atletico Madrid being potential semi-final opponents, Mkhitaryan’s return will be a major boost with the first leg being played on April 26, and the second on May 3.