Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he is none the wiser about Takehiro Tomiyasu's condition following the defender's enforced withdrawal in Saturday's 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Japan international has reignited his career during the opening months of the 2023-24 season, having hitherto consigned his previous fitness woes to the past.
After providing a pair of assists for the Gunners in Wednesday's 6-0 Champions League battering of Lens, Tomiyasu set up Bukayo Saka's opener at the Emirates this weekend before Martin Odegaard doubled the hosts' advantage.
However, Tomiyasu had to be withdrawn in the 79th minute of the contest, only a few moments before Wolves made things interesting as Matheus Cunha pulled a goal back.
Concern immediately turned to Tomiyasu's condition after the game, though, and Arteta is not sure whether the ex-Bologna man has sustained a fresh issue or was simply suffering from tiredness.
"I don't know, he felt something, I don't know if it was fatigue, we decided to change straight away with him, we didn't want to take any risk. Let's assess how he is," Arteta said at his post-game press conference.
Commenting on Tomiyasu's greater attacking output since the season began, Arteta added: "Yeah the first thing he offers defensively is tremendously reliable, and attacking he has certain things he can develop and improve, his timings, positioning, certain deliveries and actions that he can open some spaces for others. He is so willing to learn and do that, again he's another player that has given another level and still have another level in him.
Saka and Odegaard's first-half strikes would ostensibly set Arsenal on their way to a comfortable win in North London, although failure to add to their tally very nearly proved costly.
The Gunners squandered a few gilt-edged chances to steer out of sight - Eddie Nketiah in particular was guilty of a glaring miss - but Arteta put his side's wasted opportunities to bad luck on the day.
"I can only praise the players the way they played, competed, they were excellent, we played against a really good side and we generated so much and conceded almost nothing, the scoreline should've been very different," the Spaniard added.
"We are really unlucky in certain moments, we hit the post twice or three times I think, and at the end we made an error close to the goal and in the Premier League you get punished big time and then it's game on, but I am really, really happy with how we performed again.
"You see how they celebrated the defensive action after seeing zero with Gabi at the end (on Wednesday), you can imagine that they are not happy that. Today was a game to have a clean sheet and we haven't and that's the good thing about the team that wants more."
An Arsenal scoring record was also equalled by Arteta's troops on Saturday, as the Gunners have now netted in 32 successive matches versus Wolves, matching their previous best versus a single opponent in West Bromwich Albion.
The Premier League leaders will enjoy a full two days of recovery before a showdown with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening.No Data Analysis info