Arsenal are preparing for their Premier League match against Watford on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff have put the Arsenal squad through their paces in a training session at the Emirates Stadium rather than London Colney, as is customary.
In a major boost for Arteta, he was able to welcome back Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal’s top scorer this season, to the training session on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old was absent from last Thursday’s 2-1 win over Wolves due to illness, though the club stated that it was unrelated to Covid-19, indicating that the attacking midfielder would not be out for long.
This has proven to be the case, with Smith Rowe recovering quickly and appearing to be in good spirits on the Emirates turf.
Arteta, on the other hand, was unable to apply the rule to every Arsenal first-team player.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, whose start to 2022 has been hampered by calf problems, was absent from the session in north London.
The Japan international returned to the Arsenal matchday squad for the 2-1 win over Brentford last month after missing the goalless draw with Burnley and the 1-0 win at Wolves.
The 23-year-old, however, suffered another calf problem in training ahead of the rematch with Wolves, and is now doubtful for Sunday’s game against Watford, as well as subsequent games against Leicester City and Liverpool.
Arteta confirmed, “It was the other calf.” “So he came back and was perfectly fine, and he felt the other calf in training.”
“So this is an issue because he’s a professional who goes above and beyond to help us, and he hasn’t been fit in the last few months.”
The fact that Tomiyasu was not present at Arsenal’s training session with his teammates on Tuesday will only add to Arteta’s worries about his availability for the coming month.
If he is unavailable for Arsenal’s trip to Watford, Cedric Soares is expected to fill in at right-back once more as the Gunners try to regain control of the top-four race.
The Gunners are currently sixth in the Premier League table, behind Manchester United and West Ham United, and their fixtures this weekend have been rather kind to them – at least on paper.
As a result of Arsenal’s victory at Vicarage Road, Man United’s loss in the Manchester derby, and West Ham’s failure to beat Liverpool 24 hours earlier, the Gunners will finish the weekend in fourth place.