Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he fears midfielder David Lewis may have played his last game of the season after limping with a tendon injury in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United.
After missing the last four games with a knee injury, Lewis was returned to the starting lineup for Sunday’s match, but managed just 53 minutes before collapsing on the grass in pain after apparently injuring his lower leg.
With the end of the Premier League season on May 23 and the Europa League final that Arsenal may or may not reach, there is not much time on May 26 for Louise to return to full form.
“We don’t know,” Arteta (via the club’s official website) said when asked if Luis’ season was over. “He felt something in his lower leg, so that’s not good news. He made such a change to come back with the team in the last few weeks after knee surgery. It’s a real shame.”
It is quite possible that Luis played his last match with an Arsenal shirt. His contract expires this summer and he is not expected to paint new terms, so any injury at the end of the season would also lead to a sudden end to his time with the Gunners.
Fortunately for Arteta, everything was doomed and gloomy, as striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took a big step forward in his return from malaria.
Aubameyang had missed the last three games in the league and were given just five minutes to lose to Villarreal 2-1 on Thursday, but he managed 78 minutes against Newcastle and scored both a goal and an assist.
“We thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it,” Arteta admitted. “On Thursday and the day before, he struggled and could only play for ten or 15 minutes, but the next day he started to feel better.
“It’s good to see that he was good today, he performed well and scored a goal too. It’s a really positive result.”
“[It was the perfect preparation for Thursday] because we had a strong and very convincing performance. We scored two goals, kept a clean sheet, won the points and had really strong individual performances. The only downside is with David, because we know how important he is to us. I think we lost it today. “