TNT Sports co-commentator Ally McCoist has real concern for Jurrien Timber after he suffered an injury during the defender’s debut for Arsenal against Nottingham Forest.

Mikel Arteta afforded Timber his Premier League bow at the first time of asking on Saturday afternoon. The 22-year-old started at left-back as Arsenal raised the curtain for the 2023/24 campaign against the Reds. But Takehiro Tomiyasu had to take his place in the 50th minute.

Timber had shown true promise during pre-season and excelled at left-back as Arsenal beat Manchester City in the Community Shield. His form more than proved why Arteta pursued a £34m, rising to £38.5m after add-ons, transfer from AFC Ajax for the defender this summer.

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Timber suffers an injury scare on his Premier League debut

That form continued into the first half of Arsenal’s Premier League opener as Timber stood out against Nottingham Forest. But a collision with Brennan Johnson right before the break left the Dutchman requiring treatment. He limped back on the field just before the whistle.

Arsenal’s medical team gave Timber some treatment after he came off second-best from a challenge on Johnson. It appeared that he would be able to continue, as well, when Arteta sent the 15-cap enforcer back out for the second period. But his appearance was soon over.

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
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What has McCoist said about Arsenal’s opening-day setback?

Timber fell to the ground unchallenged, clutching his thigh, and forcing Arteta to introduce Tomiyasu as Arsenal sustained a massive injury blow on the first day of the Premier League season. It was initially unclear if the issue was directly related to his earlier foul on Johnson.

But seeing Timber go to the ground without a challenge beforehand left McCoist fearing the worst for his injury. The Rangers legend also voiced his hope that the Utrecht native has only suffered a calf injury – if anything – and Arsenal will not lose Timber to a knee issue already.

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“That’s worrying me,” McCoist told TNT Sports Ultimate (12/08, 14:10). “Some of the worst injuries that you get as a player, and I hope this isn’t the case, is when there’s nobody near you. I’m just wondering, that clearly looks like it’s something that’s come from the first half.

“It looks like a calf the way that he’s holding his right calf. Straight away he goes for the calf rather than his knee, not good. I’ll tell you right now, from his point of view I hope it’s a calf.”

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