Santi Cazorla has revealed the extent of his excruciating nine-month injury absence and the impact that it is taking on his personal life on the same day that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he still does not know when the midfielder will return to action.
The Frenchman has injury concerns over Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Gabriel Paulista ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup, with the trio ruled out of the pre-season tournament in north London and unlikely to feature in next week’s Community Shield curtain-raiser against Premier League champions Chelsea.
The Frenchman has not be able to call on him since last October’s Champions League victory over Ludogorets, when a fairly mild challenge soon led to his withdrawal and an initial three-week lay-off resulting into a season-ending injury.
Speaking to Spanish television, the Spaniard admitted himself that he does not know when he will able to play in an Arsenal shirt once again, and the 32-year-old revealed how his absence is also having an impact on his six-year son, Enzo.
“I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m convinced that I’ll be back soon,” Cazorla said.
“Each time I leave the operating theatre, I think that everything will be fine and I’ll be back again. The doctors have told me that a case like mine is one that they probably won’t see again for a long time as it is unusual for an athlete. I had no strength in my tendon or muscle mass.
“Every day my son asks me if I will play again because he really wants to see me out on the pitch again and I really hope that it will happen soon.”
Cazorla has been able to take inspiration though from one of his compatriots. Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo has had to fight his way back from continuous ligament injuries, and after seeing his friend return to form last season, the Spaniard believes there is no reason why he cannot do the same once he regains his fitness.
“I was surprised by how well he was doing when I saw him,” Cazorla added. “He is an example to everyone. There is no better man to mirror myself on than him.”