Arsenal face defensive shortage as Sokratis ruled out a month

Date published: Sunday 27th January 2019 4:18 - Joe Williams

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been ruled out for a month with an ankle injury suffered in Friday’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United.

The diagnosis leaves Arsenal facing a defensive shortage with Laurent Koscielny being assessed for facial injuries suffered in the same match, while Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin were already sidelined.

The news on Koscielny is better than initially feared, with Unai Emery indicating after the match he was being checked for a broken jaw, but the Arsenal manager had expressed confidence Sokratis’ injury was not serious.

Sokratis was replaced after 21 minutes of the 3-1 home defeat to United after appearing to twist his left ankle, while Koscielny went off in the 64th minute after taking a blow to the face from a stray boot of Romelu Lukaku.

In a medical update issued on Sunday, Arsenal said Sokratis is scheduled to return to training at the end of February, while Koscielny’s injuries are being assessed on a daily basis.

Bellerin is facing up to nine months out with knee ligament damage, while Holding is still on the road to recovery following surgery.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in training but Danny Welbeck is recovering from surgery of his own.


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