A frustrated Arsene Wenger admits he remains uncertain when, or if, Santi Cazorla will be ready to play again for Arsenal.
The Spain midfielder went back under the knife again last week; a ninth operation on an problematic ankle injury that has kept him on the sidelines since October 2016.
The Spain midfielder had hoped to initially be available again in January but the manager admits that is no longer the case.
“I sent him a message because he had a new surgery and wished him well,” Wenger said.
“He answered ‘look I have to start again, from zero basically’ and it is very sad, honestly. What he has gone through this guy is unbelievable. We speak about players being happy or not happy, that is a real pain because it is really, really sad but unfortunately he has to start again from zero.
“That means if all goes well he has to wait until he can run and after when he starts to run it will be at least six weeks to come back to training. When he will be able to run again I don’t know.
“I was hopeful of January but after, he had this setback that everybody knows about.”
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Wenger was asked whether Cazorla would ever return.
“I hope so,” replied the manager. “But certainly now not before February.”