March 9, 2020 / 5:38 PM / a month ago

Arteta hopeful Arsenal's Torreira can play again this season

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v West Ham United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - March 7, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

(Reuters) - Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Lucas Torreira will play again this season despite the midfielder fracturing his right ankle in last week’s 2-0 victory at Portsmouth in the FA Cup.

Arsenal said in a statement on Monday that the Uruguayan could be out for up to 10 weeks, but Arteta told a news conference later in the day that the club did not know “anything for sure”.

“I wouldn’t like to rule him out,” the Spaniard told reporters. “Lucas is really keen and would like to play again this season, whether that is realistic or not we will know in the next two or three weeks.

“It depends how the bone is healing and how he is doing with his rehab.”

Arsenal are ninth in the table ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League trip to second-placed Manchester City, where Arteta served as assistant to Pep Guardiola until taking over at Arsenal in December.

“It’s going to be a very special night,” the 37-year-old added. “I’m very excited to get back there. Obviously now I’m in another position, another bench and I will defend my club as well as I can.”

City were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United on Sunday and Arteta said Arsenal would have to step up a level to inflict back-to-back Premier League defeats on Guardiola’s team for the first time this season.

“We’re going there trying to beat them,” he said. “To have any chance to win a game at the Etihad against those players, we have to be at our best.”

Centre back Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) and right back (Cedric Soares) are both back in training and in contention to play on Wednesday.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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