The injury suffered by Arsenal defender William Saliba is set to rule him out for several weeks, according to reports in France.

The 21-year-old was forced off during the first half of the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday, with thoughts immediately turning to whether he would be fit to take on Crystal Palace on Sunday.

He was selected in the senior France squad for their upcoming friendlies during the international break after a superb season with the Gunners.

Saliba has started every game in the Premier League, and his absence would surely be felt by Mikel Arteta’s side if he were to miss any significant length of time.

Now, reports from France have given the latest update on Saliba’s injury.

Saliba injury update given

RMC Sport claim that ‘the news is not good’ in regards to the central defender.

Initial reports on Saturday claimed that Saliba would undergo a fitness test prior to the Palace clash, although RMC said he will not be involved.

It was also suggested that he could have to withdraw from the France squad, with Monaco defender Axel Disasi among the favourites to replace him if such a scenario were to occur. Chelsea starlet Benoit Badashile could also be an option for France boss Didier Deschamps.

Since then, L’Equipe have now reported that Saliba will be absent for ‘several weeks’ due to a back injury, and will miss the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland as a result.

The reports will come as a major blow to Arsenal, with the defender surely now a doubt for the side’s upcoming matches beyond the Palace fixture.

For the Gunners, however, the timing of the injury does mean that Saliba has time to recover ahead of Arsenal’s post-international break matches, with Arteta’s side not in action for another 13 days after Sunday’s match at the Emirates Stadium.