Arsene Wenger’s side have suffered another significant blow to their Premier League title ambitions after midfielder Santi Cazorla’s comeback from knee ligament surgery was delayed by a new Achilles tendon injury.
The Spanish international had targeted the Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Barcelona in two weeks for his much-needed return to the Arsenal team but Arsène Wenger yesterday revealed the setback and admitted he does not know when the creative star will play again.
“Santi is not doing too well,”the France tactician said. “He has some Achilles problems that hold him (back). His knee is doing well but his Achilles has inflamed a little bit and we have to put him off impact.
“It is a reaction to him coming back. We have to see now how he responds. He had always a little tendonitis on his Achilles and we have to see how he responds to that.”
The 31-year-old was outstanding until suffering the injury against Norwich City in November. He made 14 appearances in Premier League, has scored no goals this season, creating 36 chances and three assists. Cazorla has completed 1119 passes, via Squawka with a pass accuracy of 90%, of which 803 were forward passes.
Wenger revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also miss six to eight weeks with knee injury sustained against Barcelona.
“He will be out for six to eight weeks. No surgery. We feared surgery at some stage before we saw the MRI. In the end we got, on that front, positive news.” – Wenger said on OX.
However Jack Wilshere, who hasn’t played all season, is four weeks away from a return. “Jack is doing quite well but has still not been outside yet, running, I think, starts again this week. It will be three to four weeks (from there).” – the 66-year-old added.
Considering the latest injury updates this is how Arsenal could line-up against Barcelona: Cech, Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Bellerin, Coquelin, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.