Arsenal youngster Reuell Walters has been the one academy player to really break into Mikel Arteta’s thinking during pre-season, travelling away with the team on tour to the U.S. after a couple of positive early appearances.
Most recently, the 17-year-old started Arsenal’s midweek friendly against Brentford, but he was withdrawn at half-time for fellow youngster Zach Awe.
At the time, that didn’t seem particularly out of the ordinary. Players often come off at half time in pre-season, and it usually doesn’t indicate an injury.
But as you can see above, Walters has since posted a picture to his Instagram story showing his leg in a protective boot.
A protective boot doesn’t always have to spell disaster and six months on the sidelines.
Arsenal loanee Jordi Osei-Tutu was spotted wearing a protective boot and using crutches after Rotherham United’s game against Portsmouth back in mid-April. He then played 90 minutes in the next game and featured in every other game of the season.
New signing Fabio Vieira was pictured in a protective boot in pre-season, and he’s now back in training less than a month later.
But it can also mean a break or serious sprain, and more often than not it means at least a few weeks on the sidelines. The timing is frustrating, but at 17, Walters has plenty of time to bounce back.