Santi Cazorla is trying to be positive about his chances of playing football again this season, despite the prognosis on his knee injury looking fairly bleak. The Spaniard is targeting a return to action in three months, but fears it could be closer to four.
Cazorla claims he won’t try to force himself back early, as he’s determined to be fully fit when he finally does return. He’s hoping to be ready by March though, and able to play the last month or two of the season.
“I am trying to take it well. 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,” he said to Cadena Cope.
“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. 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 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.”
He recounted the game in which he suffered the injury, and spoke of how he may have made the injury worse by playing through the pain. The veteran midfielder didn’t realise how bad the injury was until after the game, at which point it was far too late to avoid further injury.
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“It was a play in the second half of the game. I took a knock but played the whole game in pain. I limped a lot but had no signs that could have a knee injury until after the game. Doctors told me I had torn the ligaments and that I had to have surgery. It was a blow because after playing, even with pain and limping, you don’t expect that,” he said.
“I got really scared when I had the knock because I had so much pain and the leg had fallen asleep because I had been struck on the sciatic nerve.”
“I was a little bit scared but as the minutes passed and I was hot I didn’t have much pain so I could finish the game. Perhaps I should have asked to be subbed but I did not know I had such a serious injury, even the doctors tell me that they don’t understand how I could play so long with this injury.”
We’ve been doing fine without Cazorla, with Aaron Ramsey moving back into central midfield in his absence. We could begin to miss the little magician as the season wares on though, as depth will prove increasingly important as the schedule builds up.
Hopefully Arsene Wenger dips into the market in January, as we unquestionably need a couple of signings this winter if we want to challenge for the title.
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It would be great to see Cazorla back in action before the end of the season – especially if we’re in a couple of finals he can help us win – but we can’t rely on him being fit. Wenger needs to learn that long term injuries need to be both accounted and made up for, and can’t continue relying on players who will be ‘like a new signing‘ in several months time.