The brilliant Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla was sorely missed when he got injured way back in November, and his absence coincided with the Gunners drastic dip in form. It was widely publcised that the little Spanish wizard would return for the second leg of the Champions League tie against Barcelona, but he is still not ready to join the first team.
As Santi himself explained: “I’m happy to be nearing a return to the team,”
“Obviously it’s been difficult for me to be out for a long period of time.
“I still have a little way to go until I’m back to my best and can play with the team. I’m training with them now so I can return as soon as possible.
“I hate not playing. I need the daily routine of football so when I can’t do that I don’t enjoy it.
“I also had another problem on top of my knee injury, which was the original issue. During the recovery phase I started feeling some pain in my Achilles and that was something nobody was expecting.
“We’d planned for me to come back after four months and my goal was to play in the second leg against Barcelona.
“Everything was going well and my recovery was even ahead of schedule, but sadly it all went wrong on my second day running outside with the fitness coach. I started to feel a really sharp pain in my Achilles and that’s why it’s been five months.
“It’s been tough because it was an unexpected blow and that always makes it harder to take. It was something even worse I had to take in but these things happen in football and I hope I can recover as quickly as possible because I’m dying to play again.”
Arsene Wenger is usually abused for getting his return-from-injury predictions wrong, but that simply doesn’t take into account fresh problems and setback’s like Cazorla’s achilles. But I do wish that Santi had come back a long time ago as he may have made a huge difference to the title run in. As it is, he is hardly going to get a game in before the season is over….