Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Partey, will undergo another scan this week as he races against time to be fit for Sunday’s north London derby.
The Ghana international has missed Arsenal’s last two games due to a thigh injury he sustained during the first half of last month’s 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa.
Partey is yet to be given the green light to return to full training by the medical staff, but Mikel Arteta has revealed the 27-year-old is desperate to return to action.
And the Arsenal manager has suggested there is still a chance he could feature against Tottenham on Sunday, should his upcoming scan results come back positive.
“He has been training separately in the last week or so,” said Arteta.
“We have to scan him again to see how he is feeling. He is a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day because he wants to do it.
“At the same time, we have to protect and make sure that when he gets back in the team he is ready to do that and whatever extent of minutes we can use him.
“So this week is going to be crucial, the moment he starts to train in parts with the team. See how he is feeling and how he is evolving from day today.”
On Partey potentially facing Tottenham, Arteta added: “We don’t know.
“Again, he is really pushing. Every day he is trying to get around the doctor and the physios. He hasn’t trained with the team yet. So this week let’s see if he can get a session or two.
“We need to scan him again to see the extent of the injury and how it has healed. I know if it is, Thomas wants to play tomorrow! Then we have to see medically that he is safe to participate this week at all.”
Arteta also revealed that David Luiz could feature against Spurs, despite the head injury he sustained during last weekend’s defeat by Wolves.
Luiz suffered a nasty cut when he clashed heads with Raul Jimenez, a clash that left the Wolves striker with a fractured skull.
The Arsenal centre-back will not be involved in Thursday night’s Europa League tie with Rapid Vienna, but there is a chance he could return for Sunday’s meeting with Spurs.
“I think he will be fit to play if the scar is healing properly,” said the Gunners boss. “If he is comfortable heading the ball, then there shouldn’t be any problems,” he added.