Arsenal captain absent because his mother is in ill health

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says his recent absence from the side is because his mother has been in ill health.

The 31-year-old Gabon international has missed the Gunners’ past two matches.

“My mother is going through some health issues and I had to be there for her,” said Aubameyang in a social media post explaining why he had not played.

The Gunners striker said his mother “was already much better” and thanked medical staff for their work.

“I’m more than grateful to the doctors and nurses helping her get through this,” he said.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta dedicated his side’s Premier League win over Southampton on Tuesday to Aubameyang, while team-mate Alexandre Lacazette sent a message of support after scoring in the 3-1 victory.

“Thanks to my Arsenal fam for all the love,” added Aubameyang, who also missed Saturday’s FA Cup game against the Saints.

“I really am beyond blessed to have this level of support and love from you all.”