Emile Smith Rowe was a notable absentee when Arsenal’s team was announced for Sunday’s game against West Ham.
The talented playmaker had worked his way back into Mikel Arteta’s plans in the weeks leading up to the trip to the London Stadium and there was a thought ahead of the game that he might get a start, just as he did in the 2-1 success at Nottingham Forest.
So there was plenty of disappointment when Smith Rowe was not even listed amongst the substitutes on Sunday, with Arteta revealing ahead of kick-off that he ‘rolled his ankle’ during training.
But the good news is that Smith Rowe’s injury is not believed to be a bad one and that he is not expected to be sidelined for long.
He suffered the problem when trying to leap over a slide tackle during a training session at London Colney on Thursday. He landed awkwardly on his ankle as he landed and suffered some bruising and swelling.
He was keen to try and play through the pain, but with the Champions League on the horizon Arsenal decided not to take any risks with the playmaker and left him out of the squad for Sunday’s London derby.
Smith Rowe’s ankle will be monitored this week to see if he cold be involved against Burnley on Saturday. But even if he is unable to feature against Vincent Kompany’s side, he will not be sidelined for long and that will be a boost to Arsenal with the big games now coming thick and fast.
Gabriel Jesus (knee) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) will be assessed this week as they try and return to full fitness, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is hoping to return at Turf Moor after sitting out the win at West Ham.
For more on Smith Rowe’s injury and other Arsenal discussion, watch today’s Inside Arsenal show on YouTube: