Santi Cazorla has revealed his injury lay-off could in fact be much longer than the three months initially declared despite the successful surgery.
The Spaniard suffered a knee injury during the frustrating 1-1 draw with Norwich last month but managed to finish the match before scans confirmed that he has significant damage.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also admitted the injury would keep his key midfielder sidelined for at least 3 months and Cazorla himself has now revealed he will surely miss both the legs of Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Barcelona next year.
“I am trying to take it well,” he told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope. “These are the things that happen in football and I am trying to recover as soon as possible. I have to be ready mentally to work and hopefully I can shorten the recovery time as much as possible.
“I do not want to set a time but I want to play in three months. I do not want to extend it more if it is possible. Arsenal have told me it will be between three and four months, which may be closer to four.”
Despite the recent setback Santi Cazorla, who was in excellent form before being injured, is ready to put in the hard yards to return better than ever.
“I have already said that I will work hard, I want to make everything I can to play in March but we will see how it goes. We are not going to force it if it is going to be bad. But my priority is to play in March.”
“The club have told me to be calm and that when I return we will be in the finals (laughs). I hope so. The important thing is that the team do well and I recover as soon as possible.”
To worsen the injury crisis, striker Danny Welbeck has put back his return from injury until February. However, he will be fit to play against Barcelona in the Champions League clash and this could be a major boost for injury depleted Arsenal side. Not only Welbeck, as many as four players are returning ahead of the Barca clash – Alexis Sanchez, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Artata.