Mikel Arteta gives fitness update on Martin Odegaard ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Fulham
Mikel Arteta will make a late decision on Martin Odegaard’s fitness for Arsenal’s trip to Fulham on Sunday.
The Gunners captain and Kieran Tierney, were unavailable for Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Sporting CP in the Europa League due to illness.
Speaking on Saturday morning, Arteta explained the Norway international was ‘feeling better’ before becoming a ‘little worse’ but was hopeful both players would be available to participate in Saturday’s final training session.
‘I hope they do [train],’ Arteta said. ‘Martin was feeling better and then he became a little bit worse, but hopefully he is able to train today.’
Arsenal shared images from that training session later in the afternoon but Odegaard was not seen in any of those that appeated on the club’s website.
Elsewhere, Arteta will be without Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard for the trip to Craven Cottage, with the latter two still recovering from respective ankle and groin problems.
Jesus meanwhile has been a long-term absentee, undergoing knee surgery in December.
A return to the squad on Thursday against Sporting appeared to be an option early in the week only for the Brazilian to remain behind in the capital.
Discussing his return, Arteta said: ‘He had a bad injury and he’s been really pushing the boundaries and trying to get that recovery as quick and smooth as possible.
‘The reality is when he’s started to do some activities, he’s still feeling that he needs a little bit of time. Is it a matter of days? Hopefully yes, more than a matter of weeks.
‘The moment he is ready, he will be thrown onto the field.
‘The timescale that he had has been respected and it’s now more about his feelings, and when he actually demands he wants to be part of it.’
Arsenal are five points clear at the top but that gap could be reduced to two with Manchester City in action against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.
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