Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Arsenal captain absent because his mother is in ill health

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette signals after scoring against Southampton
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette showed his support for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by signalling his team-mate's shirt number 14 after scoring against Southampton

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.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta says he is unsure if Aubameyang will return for Saturday's home match against Manchester United (17:30 GMT).

"Things are looking better at the moment but we will have to wait and see," Arteta said on Thursday.

Arteta would not answer when questioned if Aubameyang had been out of the country and would therefore face quarantine rules.

"He had to support his family and he had to be with them," the Spaniard added. "I don't know what will happen."

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

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."

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