Injury blow could see Mustafi miss Milan clash

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi could miss Thursday’s Europa League meeting with AC Milan after limping off in Sunday’s Premier League win over Watford, reports The S*n.

The German international opened the scoring for Arsenal, heading home from a corner in the seventh minute but was brought off in the second half after being seen limping.

It’s bad news for manager Arsene Wenger as his side have a lot of players doubtful for the second leg of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 meeting. The Gunners could have a depleted defence against the Rossoneri, with Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal both ruled out.

Mustafi lasted 73 minutes against Watford before being replaced by Calum Chambers. The likes of Rob Holding and Ainsley Maitland-Niles started in the Arsenal defence in place of Laurent Koscielny and Bellerin. Wenger has a difficult decision to make on who he chooses against Milan.

The Gunners boss revealed Mustafi is now recovering from a groin injury. He said to “We have one problem and that’s Mustafi who had to come off. It’s a groin problem. We don’t know how bad. They told me they have to check tomorrow.”

There won’t be a definitive answer about his chances of featuring on Thursday until he’s looked at tomorrow, but Wenger did add that Bellerin and Monreal could return in time to give Arsenal are boost.

“Bellerin is in quite a good way. He could be available for Thursday, yes. And Monreal as well.”

Arsenal could consider Monreal as a makeshift centre-back given Holding and Chambers have been short of playing time. Thursday’s fixture is the biggest of Arsenal’s season so Wenger can’t afford to take risks.

Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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