Injured Santi Cazorla 'far from starting to run again' - Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla could be sidelined for another 10 weeks after needing a second procedure on his troublesome right foot.
Cazorla had surgery in early December after struggling to recover from an inflamed tendon in his right heel, and had initially been expected back within three months. But Wenger said Friday that doctors had performed a second procedure this week and that the Spanish midfielder is still "far from starting to run again."
"He had a little procedure, yes, but we have a meeting today with the medical people to see what it was," Wenger said on Friday.
It's another blow for Cazorla, who has not played since Oct. 19, and also missed more than half of last season. However, Wenger said he doesn't think Cazorla will be out for the rest of the campaign, and still hopes to have him available for the run-in.
"Yeah, I hope so," Wenger said. "Because once you start to go out [running outside] you have to count six weeks' preparation. At the moment he's not at that level, so let's hope he can come back in the next three or four weeks on the pitch."
That means if Cazorla isn't running again until mid-February, he is unlikely to play until April for the Gunners.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.