Mikel Arteta provides William Saliba injury update amid concerns he could miss pre-season
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he is unsure whether defender William Saliba will be fit in time for pre-season as he continues his recovery from a back injury.
The Frenchman suffered the injury during Arsenal's Europa League last 16 tie against Sporting Lisbon, which forced him off the pitch.
He has since missed Arsenal's entire run-in, with Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior replacing him to mixed levels of success. Arteta even fielded a three-player defence against Nottingham Forest.
There was initial confusion over the extent of Saliba's injury, and it is unclear as to the full scale of the damage the centre-back has suffered.
However, Arteta has now given another update on the status of one of his star players ahead of the club's final game of the Premier League season against Wolves on Sunday.
Arteta gives Saliba update
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Spaniard confirmed that Saliba is progressing in his recovery from the back injury - but does not know whether will be fully recovered in time for the beginning of pre-season in July.
He explained (quotes Arseblog): "It's probably too early to say. I think he's evolving the right way, the last few weeks have been much more positive than the previous two months.
"We wanted to protect him. It's an injury that needs some caring and attention and we've been pretty conservative to give him the best possible chance to have a good pre-season so he can go again next season."
Arteta also gave an update on right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, who suffered a knee ligament injury in the same match as Saliba in March.
He said: "I think he will be really close. Hopefully he will be around in pre-season like Willy [Saliba] to be in a good place. He's been working so hard, the boy.
"It's been a really difficult year for him with the issues he's had, he's a tremendous person, a top professional and we just want him to be available because when he's available, he really helps the team."
More to follow.
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Premier League, William Saliba, Injury