Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has conceded that midfielder Santi Cazorla could be out for a further 10 weeks after needing more surgery on his foot.
The Spaniard has been sidelined since early December after requiring a procedure to be carried out on his tendon in his right heel, with a three-month recovery period put in place.
However, Wenger provided an update on Friday on his creative midfielder, and it didn’t sound promising as he could be set to miss a large chunk of the second half of the season.
Having confirmed that the 32-year-old underwent the second surgery, Wenger added that his charge is “far from starting to run again,” as per ESPN FC.
“He had a little procedure, yes, but we have a meeting today with the medical people to see what it was.”
It’s unclear for the most part how long this will leave Cazorla out for, as his manager went on to add that he hopes to see him back on the pitch in training in the next three or four weeks.
On top of that though, the veteran would need time to reach maximum fitness after such a long lay-off, with his last game coming on October 19.
Coupled with the fact that he missed a significant part of last season due to injury, there is also a separate concern to this story that will worry Arsenal fans further.
With his contract set to expire this summer, Cazorla faces an uncertain future as his injury woes could count against him and see the club opt to not offer fresh terms.
Given that he isn’t expected to start running again until mid-February, he’s unlikely to be back playing until April. Wenger insisted that he’ll be back before the end of the season, but the decision could already have been made over his long-term future.