Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be sidelined for another two weeks with a knee injury suffered in the first leg of the Gunners’ UEFA Europa League quarter-final against CSKA Moscow.
The Gunners played the second leg on Thursday and survived an attempted comeback from the Russian side to eventually move through to the semi-finals with a 6-3 aggregate victory.
After the clash at the VEB Arena, Wenger provided an update on Mkhitaryan’s recovery, per Nik Brumsack of Arsenal.com: “He has a medial ligament strain, he should be out for two more weeks. Do not be too worried. We have a very good medical staff and he is very serious in his rehab.”
It means the Armenian is likely to miss upcoming Premier League matches against Newcastle United and West Ham United—albeit it is better news than initially feared as it had been suggested his season was over.
That matters little as Arsenal have little left to play for in the English top flight given they have long looked set to finish sixth.
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The #PL table after a dramatic few days of football https://t.co/UvIa3NKB0F
However, the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, and Wenger will be keen to see Mkhitaryan, 29, back in action by then.
Landing the Europa League is Arsenal’s only remaining chance of winning some silverware this season and, perhaps more importantly, earning themselves a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
The draw for the semi-finals takes place on Friday and Arsenal are joined in the pot by Atletico Madrid, Marseille and Red Bull Salzburg.
The Gunners will likely be eager to avoid Atleti, who are the favourites to win the tournament after they made it past Sporting Lisbon in the last eight.