Gunners fear injured Welbeck will miss significant part of the season
DANNY Welbeck could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Arsenal described his ankle injury as “significant”.
Welbeck was carried off on a stretcher on the half-hour mark of Thursday’s Europa League stalemate with Sporting Lisbon.
The England forward continues to be assessed, with the Gunners set to provide a further update on his condition in the next 72 hours.
He is expected to miss his country’s fixtures against the United States and Croatia during the upcoming international break, having been named in Gareth Southgate’s squad earlier on Thursday.
“Danny remains in hospital and will continue to be assessed,” the club stated. A further update will be issued over the next 72 hours.”
Welbeck has endured a wretched injury record during his career with knee issues costing him months on the sidelines.
His latest setback comes after he landed badly on his right ankle having jumped for a header in the 25th minute of the Group E encounter at the Emirates Stadium.
The 27-year-old received oxygen on the pitch and had his leg in a protective brace as he was taken off.
Gunners head coach Unai Emery admitted after the goalless draw — which assured Arsenal’s qualification for the knockout stages — that Welbeck’s injury weighed heavy on his players.
Team-mate Rob Holding has backed Welbeck to make another comeback and insists the Arsenal players will rally around their colleague.
“I didn’t see it because obviously I’m at the other end of the pitch so I didn’t see exactly what he’d done,” said Holding.
“But Danny is a tough lad so if he’s on the floor, I know its something serious.
“He’s been so unlucky with injuries over the past few years but he’s a good character and got a good set of lads around him so we’ll lift him up and get him back as soon as we can.
“He can come back strong.”
Meanwhile, manager Nuno Espirito Santo insists Wolves’ slump is nothing to worry about.
For the first time under Nuno Wolves have suffered three successive defeats in the league. A 3-2 defeat to Tottenham last Saturday followed losses to Watford and Brighton to stall Wolves’ fine start to the season.
They go to Arsenal tomorrow but Nuno, October’s Manager of the Month, remains unconcerned.
Nuno said: “We’re not in the best moment but we have to react to it. In every moment it’s a challenge for us because we have to get better. You have to challenge yourself and improve yourself.” Ankle damage: Danny Welbeck was stretchered off SCOTLAND winger Gary Mackay-Steven netted his sixth goal of the season as Aberdeen battled Hibernian — and the elements — to move level on points with third-place Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
It was a scrappy affair, with the swirling Pittodrie wind meaning quality football was at a premium and set-pieces looked the likeliest route to goal for both sides.
Indeed, Hibs showed some early promise on that front with captain Mark Milligan heading towards goal after Stevie Mallan’s free-kick spun up off Scott McKenna after just five minutes. The Australian’s header was weak, though, and Shay Logan was well placed to clear.
Aberdeen struggled to break forward in the first period, but a clever Mackay-Steven corner presented James Wilson with their first chance, the on-loan Manchester United striker seeing his low near-post effort blocked.
But it was Mackay-Steven who gave the home side the lead, and it was a goal of Hibs’ making.
Ryan Porteous was loose with his pass towards Lewis Stevenson and Mackay-Steven intercepted before firing a low 25-yard strike in at the near post which gave goalkeeper Adam Bogdan no chance.
The goal sparked some urgency into the Dons and they finished the half in the ascendency.
The wind continued to wreak havoc after the interval and Milligan will have been disappointed to head over the bar from a corner.
Milligan’s pass set Florian Kamberi free to round Joe Lewis just before the hour, only for the Hibs striker to blaze over the crossbar.
While Hibs pushed for a leveller until late in the game, they found the Aberdeen defence in typically stubborn form.
• SHEFFIELD United were denied the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship by rivals Sheffield Wednesday as the Steel City derby finished goalless at a rain-soaked Bramall Lane.