Aubameyang having tests after early return from African Cup

January 19, 2022 GMT
FILE - Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang applauds fans during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates stadium in London Oct. 18, 2021. Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions after recovering from COVID-19 at the African Cup of Nations, ruling him out Gabon's game against Ghana on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)
FILE - Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang applauds fans during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates stadium in London Oct. 18, 2021. Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions after recovering from COVID-19 at the African Cup of Nations, ruling him out Gabon's game against Ghana on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

LONDON (AP) — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to London and is undergoing medical tests as Arsenal looks for “clarity” after he was diagnosed with heart lesions during his recovery from the coronavirus at the African Cup of Nations, manager Mikel Arteta said Wednesday.

Aubameyang was released by Gabon’s national team after being diagnosed with “cardiac lesions” in tests conducted by Confederation of African Football medical officials, who were checking on his condition after he tested positive for COVID-19.

“We haven’t had any clarity from the Gabon national team about the reasons why he came back,” Arteta said. “It’s our obligation to make sure, medically, the player is safe, in a good condition and there are not any issues related to that. Because historically everything we have done with the player, he has never had that issue.”

While the African federation announced Aubameyang and teammate Mario Lemina had heart lesions, Gabon coach Patrice Neveu said neither player had serious heart problems but rather they were suffering from some aftereffects of COVID.

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They tested positive for the virus at an airport in Cameroon on their arrival for the African Cup, forcing them to miss Gabon’s first game while in isolation. They also missed the team’s second game after CAF’s medical commission advised that they shouldn’t play following the tests.

Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy last month for disciplinary reasons. He was also left out of some matches before being allowed to join up early with Gabon’s squad ahead of the African Cup.

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