Arsene Wenger says that it’s unlikely that Santi Cazorla will play this season and, after his 10th surgery, the 33-year-old’s chances of returning to action for Arsenal are looking slimmer by the day  with a leading sports surgeon telling us he doubts Cazorla will play again.

Read on for leading sports surgeon’s comments…

On Friday, Wenger was asked about Santi, who hasn’t played for Arsenal since October 19 2016.

The Frenchman admitted that it’s difficult to talk about as the Spaniard is loved but it’ll be ‘hard’ for him to return to action this season.

“I sent him a message two weeks ago and wished him well, hoping to see him soon,” said the boss.

“He has not come back yet because he has just had surgery. The medical people know much better than I do whether he will play again in 2018 before the end of the season. Before the end of the season will be hard for him.”

Santi recently underwent a 10th surgery in a bid to fix his ankle. After his initial injury in 2016, the midfielder had a procedure to try and help his Achilles problem once and for all.

Unfortunately, the wound refused to heal, he ended up contracting gangrene and having to have a skin graft.

These complications have now resulted in 10 surgeries altogether.

Although many are still hopefully that our little smiley Spaniard could return, his Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season and it’s doubtful the Gunner will extend it if he’s still no closer to returning.

“(It) depends on his medical availability at the top level. We have to assess that until the end of the season – if Santi is fit and available to play, then yes. Of course, we have to see that,” said Wenger.
He added: “That is why I tell you it is a complicated situation because first of all we love him, second of all he is a great football player but the third situation is that you need to be healthy today to play at the intensity that is needed in the Premier League. So we have to see if he can absorb that or not.”

 

Expert Opinion

When we spoke to a top sports surgeon, who ‘specialises in adult reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, sports foot & ankle surgery and minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery, late last year, he explained that given the amount of trauma to the area, it’s unlikely that Santi will be able to play football at the top level again.

Mr. James Walsh, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

“Given the multiple surgeries required, the significance of the subsequent injury and the level at which he’s is required to perform at, it’s hard not to be pessimistic about his chances of returning to an elite level of professional sport,” said Mr James Walsh, who was at pains to stress he has not treated Cazorla and was merely commenting on the information made publicly available.

“A recent study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine quoted a 60% chance of return to professional sport following repair and these would have been far less significant injuries. In a basketball setting, athletes are far less likely to be accidentally kicked in the calf during a game.

“The loss of this much Achilles tendon and the likely reconstruction required would make it unlikely – though of course not impossible – that a player would be able to return to elite level football.”

He added: “Overall, this is a highly unusual and unfortunate complication and it shows that despite access to the best surgical and rehabilitation care, along with a compliant, highly motivated and physically fit patient, rare and severe complications can occur.

“The odds would seem to be against him, but never say never…”

It’s such a shame and it’s not over until it’s over, by I think we can kiss goodbye to seeing Santi play for us again.

I’m just happy that, apart from his ankle, he’s healthy.