Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he does not know when Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey will return to the field.

The midfielder was injured in the gunners home game against Aston Villa just before the last International break in November.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League home clash against Rapid Vienna, Arteta revealed the 28-year-old is desperate to return as soon as possible but he is unwilling to take any undue risks with his star midfielder.

He said: ‘He’s been training separately in the last week or so and we have to scan him again to see how he’s feeling. He’s a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day and he wants to do it. ‘At the same time, we have to protect him and make sure that when he gets back in the team, he is ready to do that and to whatever extent of minutes we can use him, so it’s going to be crucial with the moment he starts to train with the team to see how he is feeling and how he is evolving day-to-day.

We don’t know again, he is really pushing every day and he’s trying to get around the doctor and the physios but he hasn’t trained with the team yet so let’s see this week if he can get a session or two and then assess him, we need to scan him again so we can see the extent of the injury and how it’s healed. ‘I know if it’s up to Thomas then he wants to play tomorrow. We have to see medically that he is safe to participate at all,” he said.