Arsenal handed timely injury boost ahead of Everton clash, Arteta will be delighted
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Mikel Arteta has received a huge boost with reports that Thomas Partey is expected to be fit to face Everton amid injury concerns.
Partey was taken off at half-time during Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the last 16 of the FA Cup on Friday, leaving fans worrying over the extent of his injury.
After the match, manager Mikel Arteta said he was unwilling to take any risks over the Ghana international, who was set to undergo an MRI scan on his ribs on the weekend.
Arteta said: "Yeah, he felt something and we didn’t want to take any risks, so he could not continue. He had some discomfort and it was getting worse and worse. He could not continue.
"He wasn’t comfortable to continue. Tomorrow or the day after we’ll have to have an MRI scan and see what he has."
Partey 'available' for Everton clash
The Sun's Jack Rosser has reported that initial checks have shown the injury to not be a serious one. It is said Partey is likely to be available for the trip to Goodison Park on Saturday.
The news will come as a huge relief to Arteta. Partey has played a significant part in the Gunners' ascent to the top of the table this season.
Their only Premier League loss of the season came when he wasn't playing - in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last September.
Mohamed Elneny is also currently sidelined with a knee problem, with Arteta revealing that he could be out for a long time.
Speaking ahead of the City game, the Spaniard said: "I don't think he [Elneny] will be available. He had some issues with his knee that we are assessing at the moment, and I'll have to see how he evolves in the next couple of days.
"There are some concerns [over potential long-term injury], especially as Mo never complains about anything, but let's see."
Injuries to both Elneny and Partey would have left Arteta seriously stretched. Albert Sambi Lokonga is Arsenal's only other recognised senior midfielder who could partner Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park.
However, the Belgian was criticised following his performance against Manchester City. He was spotted 'storming down the tunnel' after the full-time whistle, refusing to acknowledge the travelling fans.
Despite Partey's return to fitness, Arteta admitted his desire to sign a midfielder before January is up. The Gunners are said to have had a £65million bid for Brighton's Moises Caicedo rejected, claim the Daily Mail, with the Seagulls keen to hold onto him until the summer at least.