Arsenal team news: Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return against Atletico Madrid

The Armenian was expected to be out for an extended period after sustaining a knee injury against CSKA Moscow but Arsene Wenger revealed the midfielder is already back running

Thursday 19 April 2018 09:44
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return against Atletico Madrid next week
Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return against Atletico Madrid next week

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be fit for the first leg of Arsenal's Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid.

A January transfer window arrival from Manchester United the Armenian was expected to be out for an extended period after sustaining a knee injury against CSKA Moscow in the previous round.

But boss Arsene Wenger says the midfielder is firmly on the road to recovery and could be back as soon as next week in a major boost to his side's chances of progressing.

"Mkhitaryan is running again, he has to progress in the next three or four days," he said in his weekly pre-match press conference. "Possibly (fit for) Thursday, that is the earliest."

Arsenal, who are 14 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League, face West Ham at home on Sunday.

"For us it (the Europa League) is the biggest priority now," he added. "This weekend is preparation for Thursday. I rested most players after the (CSKA) Moscow game and they will need a game."

Wenger has also played down speculation over his future at the Emirates amid reports linking Patrick Vieira with the manager's job.

Mkhitaryan could return next week

Former Gunners midfielder Vieira is currently in charge at New York City in Major League Soccer.

Wenger added: "My personal situation is not so much my worry at the moment. My worry is to transform the season into a success."

When asked if he will make his own mind up on his future, Wenger added: "That doesn't really matter."

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