Arsenal handed fitness boost ahead of Huddersfield trip as player returns

By on February 5, 2019

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has handed Arsenal a fitness boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield after making his comeback from a foot injury with a run out for the U23’s on Monday night.

The 30-year-old hasn’t featured for the first team since suffering a fractured metatarsal during Arsenal’s 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham on the 19th December.

Mkhitaryan has taken longer than expected to recover and even when he did return to full training late last month, Unai Emery and his medical team decided to ease him back in to first team action.

I had expected Mkhitaryan to be in the squad for our defeat to Manchester City on Sunday but he was left in north London in order to start for the U23’s against West Ham at Boreham Wood last night.

The Armenian international was understandably a little rusty but he showed glimpses of his quality as the Arsenal youngsters raced in to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Konstantinos Mavropanos.

However, the game had to be called off at half-time because of poor viability due to heavy fog but Mkhitaryan was pleased to get back out on the pitch after almost seven weeks on the sidelines.

The Arsenal attacker is now hoping to stay injury-free and is targetting his first team comeback when we travel to the John Smiths Stadium to face Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon.

He told Arsenal.com:

on how he felt…
After a while, I came back. I started playing with the under-23s and I’m very happy. I hope that I won’t have any more injuries and I will keep playing.

on how helpful all the staff have been…
I’m thankful to everyone who has been working with me. To the medical staff, to the fitness coach and everyone, even to my team-mates. They were supporting me every day. It’s life, everything is happening and you can get injured or something like that. I hope that no one gets injured any more and the team can be fully fit for the next games.

It will be good to have Mkhitaryan available again as he’ll give us another important option in the final third and we could certainly do with more creativity going forward – especially with Mesut Ozil out-of-favour.