April 11, 2021 Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury [ REUTERS]

Arsenal’s hopes of reaching the Europa League semi-finals suffered another blow after winger Bukayo Saka suffered a thigh issue against Sheffield United, adding to manager Mikel Arteta’s selection problems ahead of Thursday’s trip to Slavia Prague.

Saka limped off in the 69th minute of Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League win and Arteta said the England international’s fitness would be assessed in the coming days.

Held to a 1-1 draw by Prague in the home leg of their Europa quarter-final last week, Arsenal are already without the injured David Luiz, Kieran Tierney (both knee), Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe (both ankle).

Arteta said they cannot afford to lose anyone else.

“He (Saka) had discomfort in his thigh and it’s the last thing that we need because we’re missing some big players at the moment and we don’t want to lose another one,” Arteta said.

“I don’t know the extent (of the injury). Hopefully, it’s not that serious.”

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed Sunday’s win due to illness but Arteta hoped the Gabon striker could return soon.

“He was unwell yesterday, he could not train, he could not be available today but hopefully in the next day or two he will be feeling better and he will be available to get picked,” he said.

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice and Gabriel Martinelli added another on Sunday as Arsenal moved up to ninth place in the league, while Sheffield United stayed rooted to the bottom.

 

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