Mikel Arteta has provided an update on when he expects Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to be back in action for Arsenal after it was confirmed that he has been in hospital with malaria.
The Gabonese forward took to Instagram before the Gunners’ Europa League quarter final second leg victory over Slavia Prague to confirm that he had been diagnosed with the illness after contracting it upon returning to Gabon for international duty a few weeks ago.
The 31-year-old has spent time in hospital to receive treatment and was absent for the Premier League victory over Sheffield United on Sunday and Thursday night’s win over the Czech champions.
“We just spoke with him he’s at home he’s fine. He’s completely fine at the moment,” said the Spaniard.
“He had two days in hospital to get the right treatment but he’s feeling good now.”
When pressed on when the Arsenal captain could make his return to action Arteta refused to put an exact date on it, but revealed it could be sooner rather than later.
“Well see how he recovers.” he said.
“I think he will need a few days to recover from that. He wants to back as soon as possible that’s what he said to me.”
“Hopefully not because he feels really good that’s what he said to me today and he wants to be back,” he then went on to add when asked if the Gabon forward would be out for a while.
“But I don’t know if the treatment is efficient it shouldn’t take too long.”
There was some confusion over whether the Gunners had known about Aubameyang’s illness before when he was involved in their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool and the 1-1 draw in the first leg with Slavia.
But Arteta was able to clear up that despite the club knowing the player was feeling unwell, no one expected it would be as serious as it later turned out to be.
“No, when he wasn’t involved against Sheffield [United] the two days before he wasn’t feeling good but nobody could expect that that would be the case,” he said after being asked when he found out.
“The doc some did more tests and some more analytics and that’s when it came on. That’s why straight away the doc realised very quickly what had to be done and they did a great job and he’s safe and he’s feeling good.”
In Aubameyang’s absence Arsenal were able to secure their place in the Europa League semi finals in some style with a 4-0 victory over Slavia, ending the Czech champions near two year unbeaten run at home.
Speaking after the match Arteta revealed that Aubameyang’s support had provided some extra motivation to the Gunners’ players to secure the victory.
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“Well everybody has been in contact with him,” said the Spaniard. “He’s been really supportive with teammates through messages and calls.
“He was watching the game like everybody else at Colney like David [Luiz], Martin [Odegaard] and Kieran [Tierney] and everybody that is not being able to be involved and is being missed here.
“But it’s what it is these things happen. He travelled to his country and he picked it up and you know that this risk always exists.”