Thomas Partey misses out on Arsenal's clash vs Sevilla due to injury. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Ghana coach, Chris Hughton says he is very hopeful Thomas Partey will be fit for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) slated for next year.

Partey has been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering a muscle injury after the October international friendly games.

The midfielder was in action for Ghana against Mexico and the USA but has not featured for the Gunners since his return to the club.

The injury has forced the 30-year-old to miss Ghana’s first Group I opening games of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar and Comoros later this month.

His recovery time seemingly worsened after suffering a setback in his recovery prompting the former Atletico Madrid player to see a specialist to deal with a thigh problem.

The setback puts Partey’s participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in serious doubt and that isn’t lost on Hughton who is hoping Partey returns in time for the competition.

“We are all very much aware of the quality of player that he is. Unfortunately for us, he is injured at this period of time,” he told BBC Africa.

“We are very very hopeful that he will be fit and back playing and in good form by the time we get to AFCON but at this very moment we don’t know,” he added.

Ghana will host Madagascar on November 17 at the Baba Yara Stadium before travelling to face Comoros on November 21 at the Stade de Moroni.

After the conclusion of the two games, the Black Stars will now prepare for the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast.