Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed he has spent time in hospital this week after contracting malaria on international duty.
The striker was absent from his side’s matchday squad for their crucial Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague on Thursday night, having not travelled to the Czech capital.
He had also missed the Gunners’ Premier League victory over Sheffield United at the weekend through an unspecified illness, although the 31-year-old did feature in the first two games after the international break against Liverpool and in the first leg against Slavia.
Explaining his absence in a post on Instagram alongside a photo of himself in a hospital bed, Aubameyang wrote: “Unfortunately I contracted Malaria whilst being on national team duty in Gabon a few weeks ago.”
The forward reassured his followers that although he has spent some time in hospital, he is on the mend, adding: “I’ve spent a few days in hospital this week but I’m already feeling much better every day, thanks to the great doctors that detected and treated the virus so quickly.
“I wasn’t really feeling myself the last couple weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon! Will be watching my boys now, huge game for us! Let‘s go and get it.”
It’s fair to say the Arsenal skipper hadn’t looked his usual dangerous self in his appearances since he contracted the disease while away with his country, although he did provide a crucial assist in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.
Aubameyang will hope his teammates can do the business without him when they take on the Czech champions elect on Thursday night, with Mikel Arteta’s men needing to score after drawing the home leg 1-1.