Santi Cazorla will not be returning to a football pitch this week and nobody knows when he’ll back, not the Arsenal medics and certainly not the player himself.
Speaking to the press in Spain, Santi said “Well, I still don’t know the exact time. I am trying to return as soon as soon as possible to be with the team again but I cannot say if it will be soon or if I still have a few weeks left. It is what I do not know but hopefully it will be as soon as possible.”
Arsene Wenger told the media at his pre-Manchester United conference “Cazorla is still out. I don’t know exactly how long for. He’s still not even out in training yet.”
So how, in the 21st century with all the medical technology at the disposal of the club, can we not have an idea of when Santi will be back conducting things in the middle of the Arsenal pitch?
One word – Achilles.
Laurent Koscielny’s Achilles problems shone some light on what we can perhaps expect from Santi’s ankle. The Achilles’ is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body and it really doesn’t take well to being damaged.
Think of it as a thick rope, made of tiny fibres all uniformly connecting to allow the tendon to do what it needs to. When these [collagen] fibres become damaged the body springs to live, producing new ones to replace them.
But, rather like Alexis Sanchez running around a football pitch, they’re all over the place – more plate of spaghetti than bungy cord.
Sadly for Santi, it’s a case of ‘time heals’ but how much time is impossible to predict. He will be doing strengthening exercises, such as heel dips, but that depends on how well it is healing [no pun intended].
Koscielny’s first Achilles problem kept him out for 46 days and seven games back in the 14/15 season. Santi’s first Achilles’ problem, which he picked up last season, kept him out for 43 days and the same number of games. He’s already missed 6 this season and 32 days [up until Sunday] and will certainly miss PSG midweek.
How many more after that is anyone’s guess.
Cazorla will travel to Barcelona to meet with Dr. Ramon Cugat, an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in arthoscopic surgery.