Arsenal have confirmed that midfielder Thomas Partey has been ruled out for three weeks as a result of the ankle ligament injury he suffered during last weekend’s The Mind Series friendly against Chelsea.
Partey, who has been assigned his preferred number five shirt since the end of last season, appeared to be in significant discomfort when he suffered the injury during the first half of the game. The Ghanaian tried to play on but was forced off before the half-time interval.
Despite the situation not looking good, there were initial hopes that he might only be a doubt for the opening Premier League game of the season against newly promoted Brentford.
However, a medical update from the club following a fuller assessment of the injury has confirmed that Partey is expected to resume training in around three weeks’ time.
That means, in addition to this weekend’s final pre-season friendly against North London rivals Tottenham, he will miss the Brentford clash next Friday night – which is the Premier League curtain raiser for the whole division.
Partey probably won’t resume training until the end of August, also ruling him out of further Premier League games against Chelsea and Manchester City. His absence for those extremely difficult matches stands to be a significant blow for the Gunners.
With club football pausing at the end of August for the September international break, the likely earliest opportunity Partey will have to return to action is Arsenal’s clash against Norwich at the Emirates on 11 September.
With Partey ruled out, it could represent a chance for new signing Albert Sambi Lokonga to begin the season as a starter alongside Granit Xhaka, who will now be staying put after all following strong interest from Roma earlier in the summer.