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"Unfortunately..." - Mikel Arteta confirms 'muscular injury' to Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of Monaco clash

"Unfortunately..." - Mikel Arteta confirms 'muscular injury' to Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of Monaco clash

He hasn't featured yet in pre-season.

Arsenal could be without Oleksandr Zinchenko for the start of the new season after Mikel Arteta revealed the defender has suffered a fresh injury setback.

Zinchenko, 26, impressed for Arsenal last season after joining from Premier League champions Manchester City.

He made 33 appearances in all competitions to help the Gunners to a second-place finish in the league.

But his season was disrupted by several injuries, including a calf problem which ruled him out for 10 games midway through the campaign.

He suffered another calf issue in the final weeks of the campaign which has carried over to pre-season.

The Ukrainian is yet to feature in any of Arsenal's warm-up matches, including their 5-3 win over Barcelona on Thursday.

He is a major doubt for Arsenal's next match against Monaco at the Emirates on Wednesday, their final game before they face his former club City for the Community Shield on August 6.

Speaking after the win over Barcelona, Arteta confirmed Zinchenko was still struggling with the injury but was hopefully he would be available again soon.

"Alex had a little muscular issue unfortunately. I think he will be back soon but it's a shame he hasn't been with us the whole tour," he said.

Declan Rice also missed the Barcelona match and Arteta confirmed the club-record signing had suffered a knock in training.

"Dec had quite a strong kick in training so we didn’t want to take the risk," said the Spaniard.

"He wasn't really comfortable to train yesterday and we decided not to train."

Zinchenko will hope to be fit enough to feature in the Game 4 Ukraine charity match, to be played at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium on August 5 – the day before the Community Shield.

The match is being staged to raise funds to help re-build Ukraine's infrastructure and facilities following last year's invasion by Russia and the ongoing war which has claimed thousands of lives.

However, Arsenal will no doubt take a cautious approach with Zinchenko and block him from taking part if there are still concerns over his fitness, with their opening Premier League match against Nottingham Forest coming on August 12.

It looks likely the Gunners will be without the Ukrainian for the opening weeks of the season as he looks to work his way back to full fitness.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Football, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mikel Arteta, Premier League