ARSENAL’S MIKEL ARTETA has publicly thanked Liverpool’s players and supporters for their reaction to the nasty injury which he suffered during Saturday’s Premier League game at Anfield.
In an open letter, the Spaniard — who spent six seasons with Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals, Everton — said that he was touched by the concern shown to him by Reds fans as well as the travelling Arsenal support.
Arteta required oxygen and was later hospitalised following an accidental collision with Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson early in the second half of Arsenal’s 2-1 win.
The midfielder was applauded by the Liverpool fans as he was stretchered off the field following a lengthy delay, and today revealed that international team-mate Pepe Reina was among the players who have since been in touch with him.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today said that Arteta will not be available for the visit of AC Milan to the Emirates tomorrow night, where the Gunners will have to reverse a 4-0 deficit to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
In his letter, Arteta said that he hopes to be back in action “very soon”.
The letter in full reads (via LiverpoolFC.tv):
I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their help and friendship towards me on Saturday.
After my accident on the pitch, the Arsenal medical staff did a great job, together with everyone at Liverpool Football Club.
From Anfield, I was taken straight to the Aintree University Hospital, where they checked me, just as precaution.
Everything was fine and I was able to travel from the hospital and join up with my teammates for the train journey back to London.
I’ve since looked back at the TV images of when I was being taken off and just want to show my appreciation to the Liverpool fans at Anfield. It is touching to receive that response from the fans of a great club when I am leaving the pitch injured. Thank-you.
I also want to thank Pepe Reina and the Liverpool players who have sent me messages of support and friendship, this again is really touching and just shows class from a great football club.
And very importantly, a message to all the fantastic Arsenal fans, not only all those at Anfield on Saturday who were brilliant, but also those who have sent me many messages since Saturday. It is hugely appreciated. I cannot tell you how much this means to me.
It must have looked very serious to everyone as I left the pitch on a stretcher, but I’m pleased to say that I’m fine now and hope to be back on the pitch very soon.
Thank you everyone.