Arsenal are attempting to chase down Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
The Gunners returned to winning wats with an emphatic 5-0 win over Crystal Palace this past weekend.
Mikel Arteta’s squad looked refreshed after their winter training camp in Dubai, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko making their returns from injury.
While it was a good result for the Gunners, Declan Rice came off early due to an injury.
The England international was complaining of muscle tightness during the game.
The Spanish manager opted to withdraw him with 20 minutes to go.
According to Football London, Rice appeared to mouth “hammy” (hamstring) as he was walking off the pitch.
The former West Ham man has been an integral part of the Arsenal team this season.
Indeed, his injury meant that it was the first time he missed a minute of Arsenal’s Premier League season so far.
With Thomas Partey still out, Arsenal could be significantly weaker without Rice when Liverpool visits the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday, 4 February.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta would say of Declan Rice (via The Standard):
“(Rice) was feeling some tightness. I don’t know what muscle it was.”
“But when he says that at 3-0 then obviously we don’t want to take any risks.”
It does suggest that it was more of a precautionary measure, but hamstrings can be dangerous.
For example, Dominik Szoboszlai is still recovering from his hamstring injury sustained against Newcastle United.
Meanwhile, defender Gabriel (who scored against Liverpool at Anfield in December) was also prematurely withdrawn against Crystal Palace.
Arteta said of his defender:
“He had some discomfort; he had a tackle in the first half and was a bit struggling, so it was the right moment to take them off.”
Arsenal are next in action against Nottingham Forest on the 30th of January.
If Rice is not in the squad, it could give a good indicator as to if he will be fit for Liverpool.
In other news, Leeds United register interest in Liverpool youngster.