The 2022-23 Premier League season kicks off tonight, but how are the teams faring after a grueling pre-season?
Here, Athleticism checks into the processing room on each side to keep track of players left out and those struggling to be fit for the new campaign.
Emile Smith Rowe (elder), Kieran Tierney (knee), Takehiro Tomiyasu (thigh) and new signature Fabio Viera (ankle) were all nursing injuries prior to the new campaign.
Mikel Arteta remained 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 them will probably train this afternoon (Thursday),” Arteta said. “If all goes well, they will be available for selection in the squad.”
Emi Buendia will be checked after a thigh problem, but Steven Gerrard otherwise expects to be able to choose from a ‘full squad’. Kortney Hause is still sidelined after minor knee surgery as he returned to striker Keinan Davis is set for less than 21 minutes before being available for selection.
Summer signings Ryan Frederick and Joe Rothwell will miss the opener against Aston Villa. Fredericks is back on the grass but continues to level up after a calf issue, while Rothwell will likely 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, moving in the right direction and hopefully we can get him in and around the team over the next few weeks.”
David Brooks has resumed training as he continues his return to football after declaring in May that he was cancer-free, but the Welsh midfielder is working on a modified programme.
Brentford will be without Ethan Pinnock for their opener against Leicester. The defender missed the last five games of last season with a hamstring injury and a knee problem this time around could rule him out for the first few weeks.
Kristoffer Ajer Still recovering from hamstring surgery, Thomas Frank has been pressured into a move for Ben Mee to alleviate his problems at centre-back.
Midfielder Kaper Kozlowski missed a pre-season camp in Portugal with a thigh injury but returned to training ahead of the opener against Manchester United.
Jakub Moder continues his recovery from a long injury after rupturing a cruciate ligament in April.
Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the last two games of Chelsea’s US tour, with Thomas Tuchel admitting the keeper was suffering from “some pain” hampering his movement – but he could leave for Napoli soon.
Cesar Azpilicueta (hit) and Timo Werner (hamstring) returned to play half in a 4-0 loss to Arsenal after missing a game against Charlotte FC but Ross Barkley did not feature as he continues to battle his own hamstring issues. “Ross feels his hamstrings some days, like Timo,” Tuchel said. “Even though it’s more uncomfortable, we didn’t think it was necessary to take a risk.”
Armando Broja suffered an injury at the training ground in mid-July, with Tuchel admitting he ‘landed in a funny way on his ankle’, but was pictured at Cobham doing hard work.
Patrick Vieira will be without Jack Butland for Friday’s opener against Arsenal after the keeper broke his hand in pre-season.
James McArthur will also be missing, while James Tomkins has a calf problem and Michael Olise is recovering from a foot injury. “Michael is a few weeks away,” Vieira said in 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 out.
Tom Davies and Andre Gomes will also be away, but are expected to return in about a week, while Seamus Coleman must develop his fitness in an Under-21 game on Friday. Allan is also out of game minutes but has recovered from his knock, while Yerry Mina and Asmir Begovic are in good shape.
Andros Townsend continues his recovery from an ACL injury sustained in March, but is back at the Finch Farm gym.
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 picking up injuries in a behind-closed-doors game against Aston Villa on Friday.
The pair, with Joe Bryan (broken hand), missed a final pre-season draw against Villarreal and Silva admitted 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 an injury sustained on a treadmill but is expected to return to training next week, while the summer signing Luis Sinisterra (hamstrings) is also sidelined with Adam Forshaw, Luke Ayling and Firpo Junior.
Sinistera and Forshaw could return to training next week, with Firpo and Ayling likely to be available before the end of the month.
Stuart Dallas is a long-term absentee, while Mateusz Bogusz also working on his way back to full fitness after injury while on loan.
Ryan Bertrand continues to recover from knee surgery and is not expected to return until September.
Ricardo Pereira hobbled in the first half of the club’s final pre-season friendly against Sevilla.
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 returned to full fitness. Klopp’s team will be without Curtis Jones, Kostas Tsimikas and Ibrahima Konate at Craven Cottage, while Naby Keita will be assessed after illness.
Jones was awaiting a specialist’s opinion on the severity of a calf injury that could sideline him for between two and four weeks, while Klopp admitted Konate was ‘out for a while’ with a calf injury contracted knee against Strasbourg. Tsimikas is due to return to training next week, while Naby Keita will be assessed after illness.
Diogo Jota and Caoimhin Kelleher are always aloof and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain faces a lengthy layoff with what Klopp described as a ‘serious hamstring injury’.
Aymeric Laporte missed City’s pre-season tour of the United States after surgery for a knee injury and was ruled out for the first month of the season. “He needs time,” said Pep Guardiola. “I think he will be out in August and maybe he will start being with us in September.”
Antoine Martial is set to miss United’s season opener against Brighton & Hove Albion with a minor hamstring injury, Athleticism understand.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance of the summer in United’s final friendly against Rayo Vallecano but his early exit before the end of the game after being substituted at half-time added further uncertainty over his future.
Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho missed Manchester United’s pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid through illness.
Jonjo Shelvey will miss Saturday’s opener against Nottingham Forest as Eddie Howe awaits the prediction on a hamstring injury suffered against Benfica. Shelvey is set for further testing in London and Howe admitted: “We don’t have a clear and defined timetable for his injury.”
jamal lewis and Federico Fernandez develop their physical condition after calf problems, while Javier Manquillo had specialist treatment for a groin problem in Spain this summer but is back in training.
Nottingham Forest are gearing up for their first season in the English top flight for nearly a quarter of a century, but a new signing Omar Richard could be out until October after suffering a hairline fracture in his leg.
Nathan Tella will miss Southampton’s game against Tottenham as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in pre-season. Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed the midfielder is back in training but the opener is coming too soon.
Tino Deliveramento continues 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 this weekend.
Olivier Skipp was ruled out of Tottenham’s opener against Southampton with a foot injury, while the summer signing Yves Bissouma faces a test over a muscle problem, with Antonio Conte admitting he ‘didn’t want to take a risk with anyone’.
Conte must decide if Ivan Perisic and Matt Doherty will be fit enough to feature, but summer signing Richarlison will be sidelined by suspension rather than injury after receiving a one-game ban for a smoke bomb incident.
New signature Nayef Aguerd has undergone surgery for an ankle injury sustained in a warm-up match against Rangers, although the timing of his return has yet to be confirmed.
Wanderers of Wolverhampton
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 adductor sprain.
Adama Traore is progressing well from a hamstring issue, while Jose Sa recovered from a knee injury. Winger Chiquinho continues his rehabilitation after surgery on an ACL injury and is expected to be out for at least six months.
(Top photo: Getty Images)