Aubameyang out of hospital and 'feeling good' after malaria diagnosis - Arteta

By Sports Desk April 15, 2021

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is "feeling good" after returning home from two days in hospital with malaria, manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed.

The Gabon striker has been left out of the squad for Arsenal's last two matches and revealed on social media on Thursday that he contracted the virus during the recent international break. 

Aubameyang posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed and wearing a gown, but he has now been discharged and his health is improving.

Speaking at a news conference after Arsenal's 4-0 win over Slavia Prague on Thursday evening, which saw his side through to the Europa League semi-finals 5-1 on aggregate, Arteta said: "We just spoke with him. He's at home, he's fine.

"He had two days in hospital to get the right treatment, but he's feeling good now.

"Everybody has been in contact with him. He's been really supportive with every team-mate through messages and calls.

"He was watching the game like everybody else at Colney. David [Luiz], Martin [Odegaard], Kieran [Tierney]. Everybody who has not been able to be involved.

"It is what it is, these things happen. He travelled to his country and he picked it up and you know that these risks always exist."

Aubameyang has sat out Arsenal's wins over Sheffield United and Slavia, but he started the 3-0 loss to Liverpool on April 3 and was a second-half substitute in last week's first-leg against the Czech champions.

"When he wasn't involved against Sheffield United, two days before he wasn't feeling good, but nobody could expect that was the case," Arteta added.

"They did some more tests and that's when it came up and straight away the doctor realised very quickly what had to be done and they did a great job. He's safe and he's feeling good."

Aubameyang has not scored for Arsenal since the 1-1 draw with Burnley on March 6 in the Premier League - one of 14 goals he has managed in all competitions this season.

Arsenal host Fulham and Everton in their next two Premier League games, before the first leg of their Europa League semi-final with Villarreal on April 29.

Arteta is unsure when Aubameyang will be fit enough to return but is hopeful of having his captain back involved sooner rather than later.

"We'll see how he recovers," Arteta said. "I think he will need a few days to recover from that. He wants to back as soon as possible, that's what he said to me.

"But I don't know. If the treatment is efficient it shouldn't take too long."

Arsenal have won eight, drawn five and lost nine of the 22 Premier League games Aubameyang has started this term, compared to five wins, one draw and three losses in the nine games he has not started.

The Gunners also average more goals per game without Aubameyang in their line-up - 1.8 compared to 1.2 - while their average goals against figure rises from 1.0 to 1.2 when he is not included in the XI.

Related items

  • Australian Open: 'I don't know how I managed to do it' – Kanepi holds her nerve to stun Sabalenka Australian Open: 'I don't know how I managed to do it' – Kanepi holds her nerve to stun Sabalenka

    Kaia Kanepi surprised even herself by holding her nerve to eliminate second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a final-set tie-break and reach Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

    The world number 115 edged a topsy-turvy battle 5-7 6-2 7-6 (10-7) on Margaret Court Arena to set up a meeting with Iga Swiatek in the final eight.

    With Monday's impressive comeback win, Kanepi has now completed a clean sweep of reaching the quarter-finals of all four majors, making her the 15th active player to do so.

    But after squandering four match points in the 10th game of the deciding set, Kanepi admits she struggled to keep her nerves in check when the match went the distance.

    "I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve," said the 36-year-old, who finished with 30 winners and 30 unforced errors.

    "It was really difficult to come back. I don't know how I managed to do it.

    "I was really tight. My hand was shaking when I started serving. I didn't make any first serves in, and that added to the pressure.
     
    "It was quite crazy. I think I would be more happy if I won after two, three match points. It was really close that I lost the match. I feel a bit exhausted right now.

    "The Australian Open was the only quarter-final grand slam I was missing. Given my age, I didn't actually believe I was going to do it. I'm really happy."

    After sealing a 14th career victory over a top-10 opponent, with her second win in a row against Sabalenka, Kanepi is now relishing Wednesday's battle with Swiatek.

    That will pit the youngest and oldest remaining players left in the draw against each other, with 20-year-old Swiatek having earlier defeated Sorana Cirstea in three sets.

    "I haven't watched her, I never played her, and I don't know how her ball feels, so we'll see when I play her," Kanepi said of her next opponent. "What I expect is to play good."

    Kanepi is one of six Australian Open quarter-final debutants remaining, with top seed Ash Barty and Madison Keys the only two to have previously reached this stage.

  • 'If I play a bad game, they kill me' – Alba feels 'singled out' at Barcelona 'If I play a bad game, they kill me' – Alba feels 'singled out' at Barcelona

    Jordi Alba feels "singled out" at Barcelona and says he is "killed" by his critics every time he has a bad performance.

    The Spain international is approaching a decade at Camp Nou and remains a regular for Barca, who have endured another difficult campaign.

    He has featured 408 times for the Catalan giants in all competitions since his debut in August 2012 and has helped the club to 15 trophies.

    But Alba has come in for criticism of late, with Barca losing to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals before exiting the Copa del Rey to Athletic Bilbao. 

    After impressing in Sunday's 1-0 win over Deportivo Alaves, a game in which he led the way for touches (112) and fouls won (four), Alba expressed his frustration.

    "I have felt singled out for many years, it is not the first time it has happened to me," he told Movistar+. "I accept the criticism that there is in this circus. Criticism will always be there, I have assumed it.

    "If I play a good game they won't talk about me, if I don't play well like the other day [against Athletic], I admit it, they will kill me. I have accepted it.

    "I don't care because I have respect from my team-mates and from all the coaching staff I've had.

    "It seems that there are only 'veterans' in Barcelona. There has been talk of veterans for four or five years, and I was 28, damn it. But I've always accepted it."

     

    Alba has started 23 games under Ronald Koeman and successor Xavi this season – only Marc-Andre ter Stegen (27) and Sergio Busquets (29) have done so more times.

    No defender has more assists than Alba's four in LaLiga this term, while his 1.62 chances created per 90 minutes is the fourth-best among those to have played more than once.

    Responding to Alba's comments following the win over Alaves, Xavi praised the 32-year-old for learning to live with the weight that comes with playing for Barcelona.

    "Alba was criticised and he played a great game," Xavi said at his post-match news conference. "At Barca, the shirt is 20 kilos more than at another club."

  • 'Grim reaper' Mahomes puts Chiefs' overtime win 'right up there' 'Grim reaper' Mahomes puts Chiefs' overtime win 'right up there'

    Patrick Mahomes put Sunday's incredible win for the Kansas City Chiefs among his career highlights as he propelled his team to within one victory of a third straight Super Bowl appearance.

    A thrilling contest between the Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills was settled in Kansas City's favour when Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a game-winning touchdown in overtime.

    The Chiefs have now reached the AFC Championship for the fourth straight season, as they look to go on and replicate their Super Bowl success from two years ago.

    Buffalo seemed to have the game tied up in regulation time when Josh Allen picked out Gabriel Davis for a record-breaking fourth touchdown with just 13 seconds left on the clock, making it 36-33 to the Bills.

    Yet Mahomes got the Chiefs within field-goal range and Harrison Butker did the rest to send the roller coaster encounter into overtime.

    Mahomes – who completed 33 of 44 attempts for 378 yards with three touchdowns as well as getting into the endzone himself for the Chief's first TD – then kept his composure to find Kelce in the corner four minutes and 15 seconds into overtime after Kansas City had won the coin flip.

    "To be in this moment in this game against that team, to make a play to walk off a game at Arrowhead, I'll remember this game for the rest of my life.

    "It was definitely special to win a game like this at Arrowhead. Obviously the Super Bowl was probably number one for me but this one is right up there.

    “To be able to come back a couple of times, get points when we needed to get points, score touchdowns, get in field goal range, I'll remember it forever."

    Asked what words of wisdom he offered to the Chief's talisman before overtime, head coach Andy Reid replied: "When it's grim, be the Grim Reaper and go get it.

    "He did that. He made everyone around him better, which he's great at, and he just does it effortlessly. When it gets tough, he's going to be there battling."

    "This is definitely another step for him into the Hall of Fame," Mahomes' team-mate Tyreek Hill added of the QB.

    "He had the chance to prove once again he's at the top of when it comes to quarterbacks in this league.

    "He definitely doesn't flinch, especially in moments like that."

    Across 17 regular-season appearances in 2021, Mahomes threw for 37 touchdowns, tied for fourth in the NFL alongside Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers.

    Only Matthew Stafford (4,886), Justin Herbert (5,014) and the league-leading Tom Brady (5,316) had a higher yardage than Mahomes' 4,839 in the regular season, with just Herbert and Brady completing more passes in total.

    Mahomes has already accumulated eight touchdowns this postseason, doubling his tally from last year and is just two shy of his previous postseason best of 10, set in the Chief's triumphant 2019 campaign.

    Kansas City will face Cincinnati in the AFC Championship game, with the Bengals having won 34-31 in the most recent meeting between the teams on January 2, a defeat that snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Chiefs.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.