Football: Setback for Gunners as Cazorla may sit out rest of the season

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla talks to the media before the Uefa Champions League match between Arsenal and FC Barcelona.
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla talks to the media before the Uefa Champions League match between Arsenal and FC Barcelona. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Arsenal have been hit by a major blow to their Premier League title hopes after midfielder Santi Cazorla was revealed to have suffered an Achilles problem.

The 31-year-old has been out since November with a knee injury, but manager Arsene Wenger says the Spain midfielder now has an issue with tendinitis, which could rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.

It was initially hoped that he would be back at some point in March in time for the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

But, ahead of last night's game with Swansea, Wenger gave a fresh prognosis on Cazorla. "Santi is not doing too well," he said.

"He has some Achilles problems that hold him back. His knee is doing well but his Achilles has inflamed a little bit and we have to put him off impact."

Asked if he is now set to return in April, the Frenchman replied: "We have to see now how he responds. He had always a little tendinitis on his Achilles and we have to see how he responds to that."

The Gunners have struggled without Cazorla. The Spaniard's influence is undeniably significant, having played in 14 Premier League games this season, with Arsenal winning nine of those, drawing three and losing only two.

Wenger's men are in danger of blowing their Premier League title bid after Sunday's 3-2 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Cazorla may sit out rest of the season'. Print Edition | Subscribe