Arsene Wenger expects Santi Cazorla to return within four months after the Arsenal midfielder underwent knee surgery on Friday.
The 30-year-old Spain international was injured early in the second half of Arsenal’s recent draw at Norwich City – but remained on the pitch for the rest of the game.
Wenger admitted afterwards that Cazorla had finished the match “on one leg” and said in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s victory over Sunderland that it was a possibility the former Malaga man would be out until March.
It was unclear at that point whether Cazorla would require an operation but, speaking after the 3-1 win over Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats, Wenger revealed the player had gone under the knife.
When asked if the club knew if the ligament had ruptured and if surgery was required the Frenchman replied: “We know now. It has happened already. It’s not the season. It is at least three months, maybe four.”
Wenger said it was the opportunity to begin rehabilitation as soon as possible that had seen Cazorla have the surgery sooner rather than later – having been to see a specialist in Spain last week.
“Santi wanted to have a chance to come back quickly so he didn’t want to last too long for 25 opinions and he decided to go straight away,” Wenger added.
“The guy said, ‘look it’s a clear case, it’s a rupture of the external knee ligament’. And he said ‘Okay, let’s do it straight away.'”