Santi Cazorla is unlikely to play again this season after undergoing a second surgery
According to Goal, Arsene Wenger confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the Arsenal midfielder had undergone another procedure and was a long way from being able to run again. Wenger is unsure if Cazorla would at least be fit in time for the run-in, but said that he was hoping the midfielder would have a quick recovery.
“He’s [Cazorla] far from starting to run again,” Wenger told a news conference, according to Goal. “He had a little procedure, yes, but we have a meeting with the medical people to see what it was. Yeah, I hope so [that he’ll be available for the run-in].”
“Because once you start to go out [running outside] you have to count six weeks’ preparation. At the moment he’s not at that level, so let’s hope he can come back in the next three or four weeks on the pitch.”
According to Wenger’s estimate this means that Santi Cazorla will miss at least 10 weeks, meaning he will only return in late March or April. Given that April is the penultimate month of the Premier League season and Cazorla will need a lot of time to get match-sharp once again, he seems set to miss the entire season.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the Spaniard’s ankle has been giving him repeated trouble over the last few seasons, and despite Wenger’s optimisim it is unlikely that he will feature again this season.
Cazorla has not played since October 19th, after going off injured against Ludogorets. His absence coincided with a sudden drop in form for Arsenal, and that was no surprise given the Spaniard’s influence on the side.
We questioned whether it was worth it for Arsenal to keep the Spaniard around past the end of the current campaign, given his injury problems combined with the fact that his contract expires in June, but Arsene Wenger recently confirmed that he would be taking up the option of an extension on Cazorla’s contract.
Arsenal are already said to be looking for long-term replacements for Cazorla, with Juventus’ star midfielder Miralem Pjanic a reported target for the Gunners. It seems unlikely that anything will happen in January, however, and it looks like Arsenal will have to cope without their skillful midfielder for the rest of the season.