Soccer-Arsenal's Aubameyang contracted malaria on international duty

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FILE PHOTO: Europa League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Arsenal v Olympiacos

(Reuters) -Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contracted malaria while on international duty with Gabon last month and spent time in hospital this week, the Arsenal striker said on Thursday.

Aubameyang played one match for Gabon as they booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations finals and started one Arsenal game after returning to England.

"Unfortunately, I contracted malaria whilst being on national team duty in Gabon a few weeks ago," Aubameyang wrote on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CNsnyf7HADi.

"I've spent a few days in hospital this week but I'm already feeling much better every day ... I wasn't really feeling myself the last couple of weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon."

The 31-year-old was not in the squad for Arsenal's 3-0 win over Sheffield United 3-0 last weekend and did not travel for Thursday's 4-0 win at Slavia Prague in the Europa League.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said Aubameyang was back home from the hospital but did not provide a timescale on the striker's return to the team.

"He's at home, he's completely fine at the moment," Arteta said after the game in Prague. "He had two days in hospital to get the right treatment but he's feeling good now.

"I think he'll need a few days to recover. He feels really good and really wants to get back, but I don't know. It shouldn't take too long."

Arsenal, who are ninth in the Premier League, host Fulham on Sunday.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond/Peter Rutherford)