Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed Thursday that he contracted malaria whilst on international duty with the Gabon national team last week. The Arsenal captain missed Sunday's win over Sheffield United with what the club initially termed as flu and did not make the trip to Prague as the Gunners beat Slavia Prague to advance to the Europa League semifinals. Aubameyang has played 89 minutes since joining up with his national team for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against DR Congo.
He wrote on Instagram: "Hey guys, thanks for all the messages and calls. Unfortunately I contracted malaria whilst being on national team duty in Gabon a few weeks ago. I've spent a few days in hospital this week but I'm already feeling much better every day, thanks to the great doctors that detected and treated the virus so quickly.
"I wasn't really feeling myself the last couple weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon! Will be watching my boys now, huge game for us! Let's go and get it Arsenal."
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In Arsenal's absence the Gunners qualified for the semifinals of the Europa League with a 4-0 win at Slavia Prague, progressing with a 5-1 aggregate victory in the tie. Manager Mikel Arteta said of Aubameyang: "We just spoke with him, he's at home, he's completely fine at the moment. He had two days in hospital to get the right treatment but he's feeling good now.
"We'll see how he recovers, he will need a few days to recover from that but he wants to be back as soon as possible. When he wasn't involved against Sheffield the two days before he was not feeling good but nobody could expect that that was the case. The doctor [Gary O'Driscoll] did some more tests and that's when it came on. Straight away the doc realized very quickly what had to be done and did a great job. [Aubameyang] is safe and he is feeling good.
"Hopefully [it will not be long before he makes a full recovery]. He feels really good, that's what he said to me today. He really wants to be back but I don't know. If he remains efficient it shouldn't take too long."