Arsene Wenger says Arsenal did everything they could to avoid putting Santi Cazorla under the surgeon’s knife but have been forced into the decision after anti-inflammatory injections failed to cure the Spaniard’s problematic plantaris tendon.
It was yesterday confirmed that Cazorla will travel to Sweden for an operation next week and could be out of action until March, a state of affairs that the boss admits is a real blow for the Gunners.
“For me, it’s very bad news,” he told his pre-West Ham press conference on Friday.
“You know always the date of the surgery but not the date of when the player will play again.
“I put absolutely everything in place to avoid surgery because it creates always anxiety and rehab. Overall, when you can avoid it you avoid it.
“In this case, unfortunately, we have come to that conclusion. Now they tell he’ll be out for two months at least but two months can sometimes become three.
“Santi is desperate to play football, he’s only happy on the football pitch. I’ve spoken to him. He himself wants to get out of the vicious circle of going out and coming in again. He just wants to cure it.”
Asked about the specifics of the problem, he added: “He has an inflammation at the back of his foot that nobody really knows where it is coming from. He has been treated against this inflammation but the anti-inflammatory injections have not got rid of this problem.
“The surgeon, the specialist we consulted, decided to have an exploratory surgery. That means open [it up] and sees what’s going on in there.”
Given the news, Wenger was also – somewhat unsurprisingly – asked whether he’s happy with Arsenal’s medical record at the moment.
“Yes, of course. I believe on the injury front this season we have been very strong. We have not many injuries. We have injuries where you can question the preparation or the care of the players – that is muscular injuries – we had very few.
“Accidental injuries, down to the structure of your body or repeated competition, we cannot do anything about it…that’s Santi Cazorla. It’s purely accidental, it was a kick at the start.”