August 20, (THEWILL) – It has been revealed that the pair of Arsenal strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who were absent in the English Premier League season opener and Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Brentford, had returned positive coronavirus tests, which kept them out of contention.
However, team captain Aubameyang could be available for Arsenal’s Premier League game against Chelsea on Sunday, after testing negative. He has returned to training but will be assessed prior to Sunday’s derby at the Emirates Stadium, to get a last minute medical check on fitness.
Lacazette, who is still recovering, will not be at the disposal of Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta’s for their fixture. The Frenchman who is Aubameyang’s strike partner has often been a hard worker against tough teams and will sorely be missed on Sunday when they confront the UEFA Champions. He may make it for the still tough next game against Man City.
In the COVID-19 infection spread at the Emirates, two other players, the Brazilian Willian and back-up goalkeeper Alex Runnarson, also returned a positive test. They are both self-isolating while the club continues to monitor the progress of their recoveries.
Apart from the coronavirus absentees, Arsenal is also dealing with a number of injuries to key players which kept these sidelined players out of the first Matchday game defeat at Brentford. Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey’s ankle, injured in their friendly with Chelsea on August 1, is improving and aiming to be back in training by the end of August.
English forward Eddie Nketiah, who has also been out since that Chelsea match, is expected to return to training early next month while Gabriel Magalhaes, who sustained an injury to his right knee while with the Brazil Olympic squad, is also progressing well and aiming to be back in training before the end of August.