Arsenal defensive injury woes mount as Koscielny and Sokratis suffer double blow

Vaishali Bhardwaj
Evening Standard
Arsenal confirm Sokratis blow with Laurent Koscielny still being assessed after jaw injury
Arsenal confirm Sokratis blow with Laurent Koscielny still being assessed after jaw injury

Arsenal were been handed two further injury blows on Friday night as Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny were both forced off against Manchester United.

Sokratis started Arsenal's FA Cup fourth-round tie against the Red Devils at the Emirates Stadium, but fell awkwardly on his left ankle after attempting to compete with Jesse Lingard for an aerial ball.

After initially coming off the pitch for an inspection on his ankle, Sokratis was sent back on but immediately signalled to the Arsenal bench to be replaced, which he was by Shkodran Mustafi in the 20th minute.

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Koscielny was the next Arsenal defender to depart after accidentally being caught in the face by Romelu Lukaku's boot in the second half.

The incident looked very painful indeed, and required Koscielny to receive several minutes of treatment on the pitch. After getting back up again, the defender grimaced and held the side of his face where contact was made, clearly unable to continue.

Less than a week ago, Arsenal saw full-back Hector Bellerin suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury during their 2-0 win over Chelsea, which has since ruled the Spaniard out for the rest of the season.

Arsenal also have Henrikh Mkhitaryan recovering from a fractured metatarsal while Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck remain sidelined.

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