The 2022-23 Premier League season kicks off tonight but how are sides faring in the injury stakes after a gruelling pre-season?
Here, The Athletic checks in on each side’s treatment room to keep track of the players sidelined and those battling to be fit for the new campaign.
Mikel Arteta stayed coy on individual prospects but admitted he hopes three of those players will be available for selection at Selhurst Park on Friday. “Three out of four of those are probably going to train this afternoon (Thursday),” Arteta said. “If everything goes well, they will be available for selection in the squad.”
Emi Buendia will be checked after a thigh issue but Steven Gerrard is otherwise expecting to be able to pick from a “full squad”. Kortney Hause is still sidelined after minor knee surgery while returning striker Keinan Davis is set for Under-21 minutes before being available for selection.
Summer signings Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell will miss the opener against Aston Villa. Fredericks is back working on grass but still getting up to speed after a calf problem, while Rothwell is likely to be sidelined for longer.
“Joe will probably be slightly longer than Ryan in terms of where he is,” Scott Parker said. “Ryan is moving slowly, progressing in the right way and hopefully we can get him in and around the squad over the coming weeks.”
Brentford will be without Ethan Pinnock for their opener against Leicester. The defender missed the final five matches of last season with a hamstring injury and a knee problem this time around could rule him out for the opening weeks.
Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the final two fixtures of Chelsea’s US tour, with Thomas Tuchel admitting the goalkeeper was suffering from “some pain” hindering his movement — but he could soon depart for Napoli.
Cesar Azpilicueta (knock) and Timo Werner (hamstring) returned to play a half in a 4-0 loss to Arsenal after sitting out a game against Charlotte FC but Ross Barkley has not featured as he continues to battle hamstring issues of his own. “Ross feels his hamstrings some days, same as Timo,” Tuchel said. “Even though it’s more discomfort, we didn’t think there was a need to take a risk.”
Armando Broja suffered a training-ground injury in mid-July, with Tuchel admitting he had “landed in a funny way on his ankle”, but has been pictured back at Cobham doing strength work.
Patrick Vieira will be without Jack Butland for Friday’s opener against Arsenal after the goalkeeper suffered a broken hand in pre-season.
James McArthur will also miss out, while James Tomkins has a calf issue and Michael Olise is recovering from a foot injury. “Michael is a couple of weeks away,” Vieira said at his first pre-match press conference.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will miss Saturday’s opener against Chelsea after suffering a knee injury in training — and Frank Lampard has revealed the striker faces up to six weeks on the sidelines.
Tom Davies and Andre Gomes will also miss out, but are expected to return in around a week’s time, while Seamus Coleman is due to build up his match fitness in an Under-21 game on Friday. Allan is also short of match minutes but has recovered from his knock, while Yerry Mina and Asmir Begovic are fit.
Andros Townsend is continuing his recovery from an ACL injury suffered in March but is back in the gym at Finch Farm.
Fulham are preparing for a Premier League return at home to Liverpool on Saturday but Marco Silva is set to be without Harry Wilson and Nathaniel Chalobah after they suffered injuries in a behind-closed-doors game against Aston Villa on Friday.
The pair, along with Joe Bryan (broken hand), missed a final pre-season draw against Villarreal and Silva admitted that Wilson’s knee injury “doesn’t look good”.
Jesse Marsch has several players nursing issues as he prepares for an opener against Wolves.
Captain Liam Cooper will miss out with an injury suffered on a treadmill but is set to return to training next week, while summer signing Luis Sinisterra (hamstring) is also sidelined along with Adam Forshaw, Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo.
Sinisterra and Forshaw could be back in training next week, with Firpo and Ayling likely to be available before the end of the month.
Ryan Bertrand is continuing his recovery from knee surgery and is not expected to return until September.
Jurgen Klopp has had mixed news on a string of players ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Fulham.
Alisson missed the Community Shield win over Manchester City with an abdominal problem but has returned to full fitness. Klopp’s side will be without Curtis Jones, Kostas Tsimikas and Ibrahima Konate at Craven Cottage, while Naby Keita will be assessed after illness.
Jones was awaiting specialist opinion on the severity of a calf injury which could leave him sidelined between two to four weeks, while Klopp has admitted Konate is “out for a while” with a knee injury picked up against Strasbourg. Tsimikas is scheduled to return to training next week, while Naby Keita will be assessed after illness.
Aymeric Laporte missed City’s pre-season tour of the US after surgery on a knee injury and has been ruled out for the first month of the season. “He needs time,” Pep Guardiola said. “I think he will be out for August and then maybe he will start to be with us in September.”
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance of the summer in United’s final friendly against Rayo Vallecano but his early exit before the game finished following his half-time substitution has further added to the uncertainty over his future.
Jonjo Shelvey will miss Saturday’s opener against Nottingham Forest as Eddie Howe awaits the prognosis on a hamstring injury suffered against Benfica. Shelvey is set for further tests in London and Howe admitted: “We don’t have a clear, defined timeframe on his injury.”
Nottingham Forest are gearing up for a first season in England’s top flight for almost a quarter of a century but new signing Omar Richards could be out until October after suffering a hairline fracture of the leg.
Nathan Tella will miss Southampton’s game against Tottenham as he recovers from a knee knock sustained in pre-season. Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that the midfielder is back in training but the opener comes too soon.
Tino Livramento is continuing his recovery from knee surgery, while Theo Walcott missed the club’s pre-season tour of Austria to work on his fitness at Staplewood and will not be involved at the weekend.
Oliver Skipp has been ruled out of Tottenham’s opening game against Southampton with a foot injury, while summer signing Yves Bissouma faces a check on a muscle issue, with Antonio Conte admitting he did “not want to take a risk with anyone”.
Conte must decide whether Ivan Perisic and Matt Doherty will be fit enough to feature, but summer signing Richarlison will be sidelined through suspension rather than injury after receiving a one-match ban over a smoke bomb incident.
Striker Raul Jimenez will miss the start of the new term after being ruled out for a “number of weeks” with a knee ligament injury and an adductor strain.
Adama Traore is progressing well from a hamstring problem, while Jose Sa has recovered from a knee injury. Winger Chiquinho is continuing his rehab after surgery on an ACL injury and is expected to be out for at least six months.
(Top photo: Getty Images)