Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted David Luiz could make a miraculous recovery in time to face Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa League tomorrow.
The Brazilian defender returned earlier than expected from a knee problem to start Sunday’s win at Newcastle, but was forced off during the second half with a hamstring problem.
Luiz is out of contract at the end of the season and his latest injury raised the possibility that he may have played his final game for the club.
However, speaking on the eve of the second leg with Villarreal, with the Gunners trailing 2-1 on aggregate, Arteta refused to rule out the 34-year-old.
“With David, it is always possible,” Arteta said. “He was already saying before the game that he wanted to be available.
“He has made an incredible effort to be in the position that he is today. The fact that he played against Newcastle was already a big bonus, because he had surgery on his knee. With David you never know.”
Mikel Arteta's pre-match press conference was held earlier this morning, ahead of tomorrow's #UEL semi-final second leg
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Though much-maligned, Luiz has been one of Arsenal’s more consistent performers at centre-back this season.
He was missing for the first leg in Spain last week, when the Gunners were fortunate to escape with only a one-goal deficit and an away goal in the bag after a torrid first-half performance and Dani Ceballos’ red card soon after the restart.