Mikel Arteta has revealed that Kieran Tierney is edging ever closer to a return from his shoulder injury.

The Scotsman has been out of action since his shoulder popped out during our 3-1 win over West Hame back in December. He left the pitch in agony with his arm in a makeshift sling, using his shirt to keep his arm in place.

As we prepare to face Portsmouth this week in the FA Cup, a game which is probably coming round too soon for Tierney, Mikel Arteta said via The Daily Record:

“He is much closer and he is evolving really well. He feels fit and he feels confident now. He’s doing the stuff with contact, so hopefully we can have him soon…”

New signing Pablo Mari could feature in the FA Cup game after recovering from injury, and it’s been reported that Shkodran Mustafi has also been seen in full training since picking up a hamstring injury against Olympiacos on Thursday night. Mustafi also provided a positive looking update on his Instagram account:

 

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Together and with a smile we fight back 👊🏻 #SM20

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Tierney aside, Calum Chambers is the only player left to come back, although Cedric Soares, our other new signing this January window is also said to be on the comeback trail, also closing in on his comeback after putting in the hours in the gym.

If we can get Tierney and Soares playing it means we’ll have 98 fit defenders but no one who can actually score, meaning 38 0-0 draws could be incoming next season. We’d technically emulate the Invincibles but will most likely be getting relegated with 38 points.

Buyako Saka has been deputising for Tierney and almost made the left-back spot his own but hopefully, him and Tierney can do something together down the left, or even push each other for the position in the first team.

Tierney joined us in the summer for ÂŁ25m from Celtic, but has only played eleven games so far due to injury. It seems to be a criterion of our new signings that they need to be injured when we sign them, Tierney was no exception, joining Arsenal carrying a hernia ahead of his shoulder dislocation.

Fingers crossed Tierney can come back even stronger from this and who knows, we might even see him back in the red and white this season. Maybe the Pompey game might be too soon, but there’s an outside chance he could feature against West Ham at The Emirates next weekend if his impressive recovery continues.