Mikel Arteta has admitted that the injury suffered by Gabriel Martinelli in the warm-up for Arsenal's FA Cup tie with Newcastle 'didn't look good'.
The 19-year-old was due to start the third round tie at the Emirates Stadium in an attempt to build up his match fitness having been ruled out for a number of months with a knee ligament injury.
But the Brazilian went down before a ball had been kicked and looked in obvious pain as he was helped from the field in tears. Martinelli will undergo a scan on his ankle in the coming days to ascertain the severity of the latest blow, but Arteta's tone suggested that the outlook may be bleak.
"I am gutted," Arteta confessed after the game, quoted by the Independent. "I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and told me that Gabi had hurt himself, that he'd twisted his ankle.
"I went to the medical room and he was in tears. He was in a lot of pain and we're going to have to see how he is. It didn't look good. I imagine that we're not going to have good news with him.
"We really want to know what's going on. He's a character and he wants to play. He doesn't care and can handle pain but I don't know. Hopefully there is nothing too serious but to start with, it didn't look too good."
One positive for Arteta, and Arsenal overall, was the performance of young attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe against Steve Bruce's Magpies. The young attacking midfielder stepped off the bench to lead the Gunners to victory in extra time, proving to be the difference in what had otherwise been another laboured home performance.
"He has huge potential, he really wants it and he has the personality when he goes on the field to express and play the way he can play," Arteta admitted about Smith Rowe (via Sky Sports).
"To do it in a consistent way is a different thing. The boys you mentioned they have done it. It is true they are ahead of their development phase because they play many more games and minutes in the last two seasons.
"But he is capable of doing that. Whether he is going to do it? It depends on how he continues to develop, how he takes the chance he has in front of him and how much we can help him achieve that."
Source : 90min