Arsenal have announced that Emile Smith Rowe has undergone surgery on a troublesome groin injury and will be out until December.
The England international was plagued by fitness concerns in the second half of the 2021-22 season, losing his spot in the team to Gabriel Martinelli in the process.
Smith Rowe has been a bit-part player for the Gunners so far in the 2022-23 campaign, and he came off the bench for a late cameo in his side’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United.
After that game, the 22-year-old took part in the warm-down with other substitutes on the Old Trafford turf, but he was seen leaving the field on his own after his groin issue flared up.
Smith Rowe subsequently missed Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Brentford prior to the international break and was not called up to the senior England squad or the Under-21s.
Back stronger, Emile ❤️
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 29, 2022
Manager Mikel Arteta had admitted that Smith Rowe had been dealing with groin discomfort for a while, and he has now undergone an operation which will sideline him for around three months.
A statement on arsenal.com read: “In recent months, Emile Smith Rowe has been experiencing discomfort in his groin, which has limited his training and match appearances.
“Following a significant setback at our Premier League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 4, and after further specialist consultations and discussions with our medical team, Emile underwent surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin.
“This successful surgery took place in London in the past few days and Emile’s rehabilitation programme is already underway. We are hopeful that Emile will return to full training in December.
“Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Emile to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Smith Rowe – whose World Cup chances are now over – has only made four substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, playing just 47 minutes in total and failing to register a goal or assist.
The attacker enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at the Emirates last year with 10 top-flight goals, but he has become Arteta’s latest fitness concern ahead of Saturday’s North London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.
Mohamed Elneny is out until 2023 with his hamstring injury, while Cedric Soares has reportedly sustained a fresh knock and will not be at Arteta’s disposal this weekend either.
On a brighter note, the Gunners are said to be optimistic about Kieran Tierney, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey‘s chances of being available, while Reiss Nelson, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard should be fine to feature as well.
Arsenal sit one point clear of Tottenham and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, and their North London rivals have also been handed a fresh injury blow over Dejan Kulusevski before their trip to the Emirates.