- Rice substituted at half-time in Spurs match
- Back injury thought not to be long-term
- England midfielder could be fit for key clash with City
Tests have confirmed that Arsenal midfielder, Declan Rice, did not sustain a serious back injury during Sunday’s pulsating 2-2 draw against derby rivals Tottenham. The England international, who has been an instrumental force, starting in every league game this season, was substituted at half-time.
Rice could return as soon as Saturday
Post-match, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta disclosed that Rice was experiencing “discomfort in his back” and expressed hope that it would not turn out to be a long-term setback. Rice, a £100m summer acquisition, will probably not be part of Arsenal’s squad for the Carabao Cup tie against Brentford on Wednesday. It is likely that Rice would have been rested anyway as Arteta looks to navigate his squad through a demanding domestic and European schedule.
However, there’s renewed optimism as the 24-year-old maestro could make a return to the pitch for their forthcoming Premier League clash against Bournemouth on Saturday. This potential comeback is sure to inject a boost of confidence into the Arsenal camp.
As of now, Arsenal hold fifth position in the Premier League, trailing the table-topping Manchester City by four points. With Rice on the mend and potentially ready for action, Arsenal’s prospects of further ascent up the league standings look increasingly promising. Arsenal are due to meet City on October 8.
With Thomas Partey also on the sidelines, an extended spell out for Rice would leave the Gunners light in midfield. Rice has made a great start to his Arsenal career, with Mikel Arteta’s side exerting even greater control over the middle of the park with Rice in the side. Therefore bettors need to look at how his absence would affect Arsenal when making their picks.
If, as this news suggests, Rice is not out for an extended period, he could be fit for the Bournemouth match or the Champions League game against Lens, and, if not, the crucial clash with Man City. City have their own problems in midfield with Spanish international Rodri serving a three game domestic ban. If Rice is fit this could hand Arsenal a massive boost going into a match which could have great bearing on the top end of the table.