The Brazilian striker was a surprise absentee from the matchday squad for Wednesday night’s Emirates Cup clash with Monaco, with the Gunners confirming ahead of kick-off that he had suffered a knee issue and would need to be assessed.
Arsenal drew their final pre-season friendly of the summer 1-1 without their leading striker, with replacement Eddie Nketiah – surprisingly handed the captain’s armband by Arteta with regular skipper Martin Odegaard on the bench – stepping up in the absence of Jesus and fellow injured forward Folarin Balogun on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Youssouf Fofana’s opener.
The hosts later won 5-4 on penalties after Aaron Ramsdale crucially saved Takumi Minamino’s spot-kick, with Odegaard, Jorginho, Fabio Vieira, Kai Havertz and Gabriel all on target for Arsenal.
Inevitably quizzed on Jesus’ status immediately after the game, Arteta confirmed a “big blow” as he revealed that Jesus had gone under the knife on Wednesday morning after feeling discomfort over recent weeks, with the irritation related to the same knee injury suffered with Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar in December that saw him sidelined for three months last season.
While the Arsenal boss insisted the problem was nothing serious, he does expect it to force the 26-year-old to spend weeks on the sidelines, with Jesus now set to miss Sunday’s Community Shield showdown with former club Manchester City at Wembley as well as the first portion of the new Premier League campaign, which Arsenal kick off at home to Nottingham Forest on August 12.
“Unfortunately, he had a little procedure this morning,” Arteta told reporters in his post-Monaco press conference. “He’s had some discomfort in his knee that has been causing some issues and they had to go in and resolve it.
“It’s not something major but he’s going to be out for a few weeks I think.
“A big blow because we had him back to his best, especially with the way he played against Barcelona and he was in good condition but unfortunately we lost him.
“We had to look at it and we had to make a decision and the best one is to protect the player and get him back as quick as possible. We decided to do it.”
Asked if Jesus’ injury was new or related to the one from last season, Arteta added: “It’s something related to the previous injury he had and the surgery. He had some irritation in the knee and we had to get it resolved.”