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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives injury update on ‘really impressive’ Kieran Tierney

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Kieran Tierney is making his way back to fitness (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Kieran Tierney is making ‘very good progress’ on his return to fitness from a dislocated shoulder, but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is keen not to rush him back into first team action.

The 22-year-old has been out of action since suffering the painful injury on 9 December against West Ham in the Premier League and was forced to have an operation on his right shoulder.

The left-back has been doing a lot of fitness work, but he is not yet able to take part in contact training due to the nature of the injury.

Arteta has been thoroughly impressed with his attitude to his rehabilitation, but is keen not to push him back early and aggravate the problem.

‘He’s making very good progress but we need to wait for the bone and attachment with the tendon to heal before he can make any contact,’ Arteta told a press conference on Friday.

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‘He has been training, his work ethic is incredible, I’ve been really impressed with him. Hopefully we can get him soon but we have to be a little bit patient.’

Tierney is expected to return to full training by the end of the month and could be available as soon as the FA Cup clash with Portsmouth on 2 March and could make his Premier League return at home to West Ham on 7 March.

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It will be most welcome for Arteta, who has been forced to deploy 18-year-old winger Bukayo Saka at left-back due to the absence of Tierney as well as Sead Kolasinac and loan signing Cedric Soares.

Kolasinac may be back and available for Arsenal’s home game with Newcastle on Sunday, but Soares is still some way from full fitness.

‘[Cedric] is very disappointed, obviously when you join a new club you want to make an impression straight away,’ explained Arteta. ‘He had an issue in his knee. It’s not completely healed yet. He hasn’t been training with us.

‘I expect him to be back with us in the coming weeks but I can’t give you a date.’

Fellow new signing Pablo Mari will not be making his debut for the Gunners this weekend either, as he gets up to speed and recovers from a slight knock as well.

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‘Pablo hasn’t competed since the end of December,’ continued Arteta. ‘He had a little issue. He’s been training with us the last week or so in and out a little bit. He’s been looking good.

‘I think this game will come a little bit too early for him but I expect him to start joining the squad in the next week or so.’

MORE: Arsenal set date for potential Pablo Mari debut

MORE: Santi Cazorla in contact with Arsenal over two possible transfer targets

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