Arsenal confident Declan Rice will not be sidelined for long after back injury
Arsenal are confident Declan Rice will not be sidelined for long after he was forced off in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham in the north London derby with a back problem.
The £105million summer signing did not return from the dressing room for the second half of the match, with experienced midfielder Jorginho coming on in his place – and later giving away the ball for Son Heung-min’s second equaliser.
Rice looked visibly frustrated that he was forced to watch the second 45 minutes from the bench and manager Mikel Arteta revealed afterwards that he had suffered from sudden back pain.
What caused the injury?
‘He had some discomfort in his back, and he was telling us during the first half that he wasn’t comfortable,’ revealed the Spaniard afterwards. ‘When we assessed him at half-time, he couldn’t continue, so we had to change him.’
Back injuries are notoriously fickle – with William Saliba missing last season’s run-in due to a back issue – but the Daily Mail are reporting that Arsenal are optimistic Rice will be back swiftly.
How long is Rice expected to be out?
The problem did ‘intensify’ overnight following the match, however, to such an extent that Rice’s movements have been restricted. That is not considered unusual for such injuries, though, and at this stage Arsenal’s medical team are not overly concerned that he will be out for a prolonged period of time.
Asked if he expected Rice to be a long-term absentee, Arteta said: ‘Hopefully not, but we have to assess him. It’s strange that a player like him asks to come off, because he wasn’t uncomfortable. Hopefully not, but we’ll see.’
Rice was always expected to be rested for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Brentford and there will be question marks over his involvement against Bournemouth at the weekend followed by Lens away in the Champions League.
At this stage, Arsenal are hopeful he will be involved in both of those matches and he should be fine for the visit of Manchester City a week on Sunday.
What about other Arsenal injuries?
Jorginho had a difficult match after replacing Rice, giving away the ball for Son’s second equaliser to make it 2-2, and the Gunners are currently light on options in central midfield.
Thomas Partey is still out of action with a groin problem despite his recovery being ahead of schedule, meaning Jorginho is almost certain to start against Brentford.
Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli are both nursing minor hamstring issues which ruled them out of the north London derby, but Arsenal are hopeful the pair will return in time to face City.
Arsenal are confident Declan Rice will not be sidelined for long after his back injury and are hopeful he will be involved in their upcoming matches against Bournemouth and Lens. Thomas Partey is still out of action with a groin problem while Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli are nursing minor hamstring issues. However, Arsenal are hopeful they will return in time to face Manchester City a week on Sunday.