Bukayo Saka withdrew from the England squad to face Australia and Italy due to injury.
The Arsenal winger ended a run of 87 consecutive Premier League appearances when he sat out the Gunners’ 1-0 win over champions Manchester City at Emirates Stadium last weekend.
“No, he will not make it,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said of Saka’s England prospects after the City game. “He has not trained for a single session.”
When the Premier League action resumes, Arsenal travel to Chelsea for a potentially feisty London derby. Will they have their star attacker back in time?
Here is the latest on Saka’s injury and his recovery process as he looks to use the international break to recover before Arsenal face Chelsea, Sevilla, Sheffield United and West Ham in the space of just 11 days.
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How long is Bukayo Saka out for?
Arteta did not disclose a timeframe for Saka’s return, simply stating: “He is not available to play football at the moment.”
This was an assessment England’s medical team agreed with after checking the player and deciding he was not fit for the friendly with Australia on October 13 and the Euro 2024 qualifier versus reigning champions Italy four days later.
Arsenal’s schedule across the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup up until the November international break is below.
Saturday, Oct 21: Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Premier League)
Tuesday. Oct 24: Sevilla vs. Arsenal (Champions League)
Saturday, Oct 28: Arsenal vs. Sheffield United (Premier League)
Wednesday, Nov 1: West Ham vs. Arsenal (Carabao Cup)
Saturday, Nov 4: Newcastle United vs. Arsenal (Premier League)
Wednesday, Nov 8: Arsenal vs. Sevilla (Champions League)
Saturday, Nov 11: Arsenal vs. Burnley (Premier League)
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What is Bukayo Saka’s injury?
Saka was substituted during the first half of Arsenal’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to Lens, having claimed the assist for Gabriel Jesus’ opening goal against the Ligue 1 club.
He appeared to suffer a hamstring injury, although he also went into the match nursing an ankle complaint, having been substituted during the closing stages of the Gunners’ 4-0 Premier League victory at Bournemouth.
The 22-year-old scored at the Vitality Stadium and was the first player across Europe’s top-five leagues to reach five goals and five assists this season in all competitions.
How did Bukayo Saka get injured?
Saka pulled up after attempting a backheel against Lens, quickly signalling to the Arsenal bench that he would be unable to continue.
Arteta described him as being “in contention” to face City, although this now appears to have been little more than pre-match kidology.
The nature of this injury is different to the foot and ankle problems that made Saka a doubt for the Bournemouth and Lens games and it is unclear whether these injuries are also still a factor.
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Bukayo Saka return date: Will he be back for Chelsea?
At the moment, there is no definitive date on Saka’s return to full fitness, meaning he is a doubt at this stage for the Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 21.
Bukayo Saka injury timeline
Sunday, Sep. 24: Saka suffers a blow to his his foot during the 2-2 derby draw against Tottenham. He headed into the North London Derby, where he netted a second-half penalty, nursing Achilles pain.
Saturday, Sep. 30: Fourteen minutes from the end of Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, Saka is replaced with an apparent ankle injury.
Tuesday, Oct. 3: Despite concerns over the wear and tear incurred over the previous two weekends, Saka starts against Lens in the Champions League but suffers a fresh injury. He is withdrawn after 34 minutes due to a hamstring problem.
Sunday, Oct 8: Having been described as “in contention” to face Manchester City by Arteta, Saka causes a stir by getting off the Arsenal team bus in a tracksuit before the game. However, he is not named in the matchday squad.
Monday, Oct 9: After being assessed by England medical staff, Saka is ruled out of the Three Lions’ matches against Australia and Italy.