Arsenal defender Sokratis Papasthopoulos has recovered from injury and returned to training ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Huddersfield Town in the Premier League this weekend.
The Greek defender injured his ankle ligament in their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup last January.
The North-London club confirmed via a tweet on thursday morning stating that the centre back has returned to the training. However, the defender will be fit to play for Gunners at the end of February.
👊 DINOS 👊 pic.twitter.com/PonlKNwfPV
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 6, 2019
Shkodran Mustafi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also returned to full training and are ready to return to the line-up, after the former came-off the pitch against Manchester City.
Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are also being assessed after their injury setbacks and a late decision can be made on them before the game against Terriers.
The North London club also have Europa League action next midweek against Bate Borisov, as they will look to destroy them again as they did in the last year’s Europa League, hammering them 6-0 at the Emirates.
Arsenal have been one of the poorest teams defensively, shipping 36 goals. Arsenal’s defensive woes are due to the fact that they have not found their best defensive partnership. Injuries have continuously haunted the shaky Arsenal defence. And all the circumstances have not worked good for Emery.
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However, given that three of the possible five centre-backs are ready for selection, it does give Emery some options, at least for now. And with Sokratis also returning to training, it will be important for each of those centre-backs to avoid injury and nail down a starting spot under Emery.
Emery should also make his defenders work hard to get a starting spot and sort out his defence as quick as possible if they are to finish in top four this season.
With Gunners still competing in Europa League as well as domestically, it will be important for them to keep their players injury free and perform consistently as they look to close down the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea.