Arsenal fear serious knee injury for Jurrien Timber after leaving opening day match against Nottingham Forest

Arsenal fear that defender Jurrien Timber has suffered a major knee injury that could sideline him for an extended spell of his first season with the Gunners, according to CBS Sports sources.

Timber limped out of Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on the opening weekend of the season, going down under no pressure from his opponent after an awkward movement in his knee. The Dutch international underwent initial scans on Monday but it could take several days before a defined timescale for his recovery becomes clear. It is believed that further examinations may be needed to ascertain whether Timber suffered any meniscus damage. Should it prove to be an ACL injury, however, Timber would be facing a significant spell on the sidelines.

Arsenal’s medical staff had pronounced themselves happy for Timber to continue after he had suffered a knock in the first half. Mikel Arteta said: “The officials, the doctors, they looked at him and they were happy to continue, him as well, but straight away in the second half the first action he made a movement and it was a bit funny so we took him straight out and now we have to assess him to see what he has.”

The Gunners do have options to cover for Timber, whose acquisition was designed to strengthen Arteta’s depth across the defensive line. At left back, the position where the former Ajax defender started against Forest, they can call upon the returning Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who can fill in on the opposite flank too. There is also the option of retaining Kieran Tierney, who had been expected to depart this summer with Newcastle United and Real Sociedad keen on his services.

Timber, a £34 million summer signing from Ajax, had started both of Arsenal’s first two games of the season so far, earning much praise for his performance as an inverted left back who stepped into midfield. Though he did not arrive in north London as a guaranteed starter in any position the versatility that would have allowed him to play across the backline was highly prized by Arteta and technical director Edu.

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“He has so much courage, I love his personality,” said Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s season opener on Saturday. “The way he’s come and adapted and glided into the team, it’s just phenomenal. He’s done it so quickly. I ask him to play on the right, to play on the left, he’s a very intelligent player. It just comes natural for him, our way of playing.”

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