11 October 2018
The international break should be a time to reflect, recharge and refocus, but with injuries forcing players back to their clubs, it can be difficult, nigh impossible, to plan effectively for the upcoming game week.
Following an excellent start to the season, Marko Arnautovic demands some serious consideration, but an ongoing injury problem has tempered my enthusiasm and restricted his ownership to around 17 per cent despite being listed within the Top Ten – 7th actually – of attackers in terms of value [5.3]. However, the Austria star, who was speaking ahead the Nations League qualifier with Northern Ireland, revealed that he is prepared to play through the pain for both club and country.
“The knee is not the best, but I am fit, and I can play. I’m not training a lot at West Ham to try and [keep] my knee calm,” he said. “It is going to take some time as I have some inflammation in my bone, but I am always ready to play on the weekend. After a game I need some rest for about two or three days. By the middle of the week I am training normally with the team, training in full.”
The curious case of Christian. The Tottenham play maker suffered a stomach related muscle injury at Brighton almost three weeks ago, and although he missed the subsequent fixtures against Watford and Huddersfield Town, it was thought that Eriksen would be ready to face Barcelona in the Champions League. He wasn’t. Officially, the unspecified abdominal injury ruled him out until after the break, but Denmark coach Age Hareide was still optimistic he could play some part against the Republic of Ireland. However, those hopes were dashed earlier this week.
“Such an injury can be chronic, and it is true that Tottenham also fears that,” he told Denmark’s Canal 9. “It is doubtful whether we will lure him to Dublin and make him play. I do not think that Tottenham is particularly interested in that.”
His comments forced Eriksen’s agent into providing a response advising that Hareide had been misquoted during the translation.
“Christian has no chronic injuries — nobody has said that. He just has an injury related to some fatigue and, for that reason, he is having some rest. That is normal because, otherwise, it would not heal.”
While it remains to be seen whether Eriksen will be available on October 20, the latest news does suggest that the problem is not long-term like many initially feared.
Scotland will try to negate a tricky encounter with Israel in Haifa on Thursday without the services of in-form Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser who was forced to withdraw from the squad on Monday.
“I think Ryan has been playing for a few weeks, getting treatment [on his hamstring] and not training so much,” he said, before adding. “He failed a medical with the Scotland doctors and physios and we had no choice but to send him back.”
International team-mate Scott McTominay is expected to overcome the minor knee problem he sustained in the win over Newcastle, but Tom Cairney remains side-lined after Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed the midfielder had a setback in training.
“He is not working with us at the moment and we are waiting, I am not a doctor, we believe he will soon be close to being back, clinically he is okay, but he still has many pains and is not available.”
Gareth Southgate has been forced to call up central defender Lewis Dunk [Brighton] in place of the injured James Tarkowski while promoting left-back Ben Chilwell from the under-21s. Danny Rose has been managing a minor groin issue which he tweaked again against Cardiff City on Saturday. And despite joining up with the Three Lions, he has been unable to train, and a decision was taken on Thursday to release him from the squad. He joins Luke Shaw who was sent back to Carrington earlier this week. None of the above-mentioned are considered serious doubts for week nine – the same can also be said of Alex McCarthy following his return to Southampton.
Australia will line-up against Kuwait in their upcoming friendly without two of their Premier League stars. Coach Graham Arnold confirmed that goalkeeper Matt Ryan will remain with Brighton rather than travel to the Middle East.
“Mathew’s managing a minor injury which hasn’t prevented him from playing or performing for Brighton so far this Premier League season. He could have travelled, trained with us, and played, but for this window we believe it is best that he remains in Brighton and returns to full fitness with his club.”
Aaron Mooy has also been ruled out of match following a scan which revealed he sustained a minor groin strain in Huddersfield’s 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Elsewhere on the international scene. Antonio Rudiger aggravated a long-standing groin complaint in the win at Southampton ruling him out of Germany’s upcoming Nations League internationals versus Netherlands and France. Nemanja Matic is being treated after suffering “numerous blows” to his back and ankle in the Premier League win over Newcastle causing him to miss Serbia’s matches against Montenegro and Romania. Seagulls midfielder Davy Propper has dropped out of the Netherlands squad after picking up a foot injury and Shane Long will be assessed for Martin O’Neill’s men after taking an ankle knock.
“It’s not that sore, it is just puffed up. It may be a matter of resting it for a day or two. But he thinks that he should be OK.”
Serge Aurier was able to join up with his national team and it looks as though the Ivory Coast right-back will feature in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Central African Republic after recovering from the thigh injury which has kept him out for the last fortnight.
Domestically, Crystal Palace confirm Christian Benteke has undergone a “minor arthroscopic” procedure to help remedy a persistent knee complaint as the problem had not been responding to conservative management.
“The surgeon was happy with the outcome and we expect Christian to return to training very soon,” read a statement on the club’s website. “A further update will be given in a few weeks’ time.”
Mesut Ozil is back on the training pitches after missing the win at Fulham because of a back spasm and Liverpool remain hopeful that James Milner could return within a month following a scan on his hamstring which revealed the damage is not as bad as initially feared. Florian Lejeune is heading back to Tyneside after spending the first phase of his recovery from knee ligament surgery in Rome. However, the Newcastle defender still has a long way to go in his recovery, although manager Rafa Benitez says he is targeting a return to play within six months which could see Lejeune back on the pitch by late February. And sticking with the Geordies. Kenedy and Muto – both scorers at Old Trafford last time out – are being assessed after picking up knocks in the disappointing loss to Manchester United.
“It is a pity that both players left the pitch injured,” Benitez said. “Hopefully, it will not be serious, and it will be good for their confidence.”
Paul Dummett [tight hamstring] has not joined up with the Welsh squad as he battles to overcome a minor hamstring strain.
And finally, Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls will serve a three-match ban after the Football Association rejected his appeal against the red card he received versus Tottenham last weekend.
With a host of international fixtures still to come, make sure you check out PhysioRoom.com table for all the latest and breaking injury news.