Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hopeful that William Saliba's season is not over despite the Frenchman being ruled out of Arsenal's game against Leeds on Saturday.
Saliba sustained a back injury during Arsenal's defeat to Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League and subsequently missed the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Asked whether the central defender will play again this season, Arteta said: "Yeah I am very hopeful and he is as well.
"Back injuries are a bit tricky and how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas.
"Let's push it and see how he copes with that.
"He's so willing to be back in the team."
The Spaniard allayed fears that surgery may be required, hoping Saliba will not be made to manage the problem as the Gunners chase down their first Premier League title in nearly 20 years
"I don't know, I don't have the answer today to answer 100 per cent what it is that is going to be the case," he added.
"Hopefully we get the right load for him, the right amount of rest that he needs while we're keeping him active, and the pain starts to go away and we are more comfortable with the images we have of him that we can start to take him to the pitch and do certain activities with him. That's it."
Arteta however confirmed that midfielder Thomas Partey will be available despite concerns about an injury suffered playing for Ghana.
"Yes, it's something that we've done in the past as well," he said of sending a physio away on international duty with Partey.
"We have a really good relationship with the Ghanaian federation and we have to manage and look after our players.
"They've been really positive about it as well.
"We have to manage our players. It works both ways.
"He obviously wasn't fit enough to play the second game but hopefully he'll be back for the weekend."