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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given an update on Santi Cazorla’s fitness, and the Spaniard is not in contention to play senior football again before Christmas.
Per Jack Staplehurst of the Daily Star, he said: “The first signs are positive, but still he has not played for one-and-a-half years. It won’t be before Christmas. He is not in full training yet, he needs a few games with the reserve team. So I think if all goes well, it will be after Christmas.”
The 32-year-old suffered a knee injury in November 2015, which saw him miss almost the rest of that season.
Last year he managed just 11 games before suffering an Achilles injury in October, which has kept him out of action ever since.
The midfielder gave updates on his recovery during the summer:
Santi Cazorla @19SCazorla
Finalizada la doble sesión 💪💪💪💪.i finished My double session.@Arsenal @pumafootball #rendirsenoesunaopcion #WorkHard https://t.co/zL7oIFLtu6
Cazorla is in the final year of his Arsenal deal, though he may yet be rewarded with an extension provided he can return to fitness and maintain it, according to Staplehurst.
The playmaker will be 33 by the time he returns to action for the Gunners, but his composure, guile and technique in the centre of the park make him an important figure at the Emirates Stadium.
If he can continue to display those qualities upon his return, it will be a significant boost for Arsenal to have him back.