Key trio injured for Leeds United’s weekend visitors Arsenal but star expected to return
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Oleksandr Zinchenko, Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny have all been sidelined recently and the injuries to both Smith Rowe and Elneny are longer term. Smith Rowe has not featured since coming on as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United at the start of September, after which the young England international midfield star underwent surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin.
Arsenal are hoping attacking ace Smith Rowe will return to training in December whilst Egyptian international holding midfielder Elneny is expected to be out until the early part of next year after suffering a hamstring strain in the 2-1 win at home to Fulham at the end of August.
Zinchenko, meanwhile, played 73 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the start of this month but the left back has not featured since and the Ukraine international has been experiencing a calf issue. Zinchenko was again absent as the Gunners took on Norwegian hosts Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday evening for which star striker Gabriel Jesus was also missing.
Summer signing Jesus has been in superb form but suffered a blow to the head in the closing stages of Sunday’s 3-2 victory against Liverpool in which the striker was involved in several physical challenges. Jesus was instructed to stay at home as Arsenal headed out for Norway and rested ahead of the visit to Elland Road.
“We felt that with everything he’s been through in the last few weeks that it would be better for him to stay at home,” explained Gunners boss Arteta.
Jesus is expected to return for Sunday’s trip to Leeds, ahead of which Arteta made seven changes to his side for Thursday’s clash against Bodo/Glimt in which a Bukayo Saka strike sealed a 1-0 victory. Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and keeper Aaron Ramsdale all dropped to the bench in addition to Jesus being left out. Former Leeds loanee Ben White plus Saka, Martin Odegaard and William Saliba were the only four players to start for Arsenal who also lined up against Liverpool.