Arsenal got a first glimpse of life without Declan Rice since his record-breaking £105million summer transfer and it wasn't pretty. Luckily for the Gunners, though, football.london understands the injury that forced him off against Tottenham Hotspur is not a serious one.
The England international has been ever-present so far this season, but Sunday afternoon in the North London Derby was the first time he failed to complete until at least stoppage time of a Premier League fixture as he was taken off at half-time with a back complaint.
«Yeah, he had some discomfort in his back,» Arsenal managerMikel Arteta told reportersin the pre-match press conference. «He was telling us during the first half that he was uncomfortable. When we assessed him at half-time he could not continue so we had to change him.»
One look at Rice's injury record, as per transfermarkt, and it's spotless. Throughout his career to date, he's only ever missed seven games and that was because of illness towards the end of the 2018/19 season. This type of durability is, perhaps, one of the key reasons why Arsenal went all out to secure his signature in the summer.
«Hopefully not. We have to assess him,» the Spaniard added when asked if there's any danger the midfielder could be out for a while. «It's strange that a player like him asked to come off because he was uncomfortable. Hopefully not, but let's see.»
And Arteta's prayers appear to have been answered with football.london revealing that following an assessment, Rice's injury is not too serious — so much so that whilst he's unlikely to be risked for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup clash with Brentford, he could return to the squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to Bournemouth.
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