Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has undergone knee surgery to repair the damage to his knee suffered in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City at the end of November.

The Spaniard had played in every Premier League and Champions League game this season until the weekend’s defeat of Sunderland, and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Rather than wait for further consultations or a second opinion, Cazorla has opted to have surgery immediately after seeing Spanish expert Dr. Ramon Cugat, report the Guardian.

“Santi wanted to have a chance to come back quickly so he didn’t want to last too long for 25 opinions,” said Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger. “He decided to go straight away. The guy said: ‘Look, it’s a clear case. It’s a rupture of the external knee ligament.’ And Santi said: ‘OK, let’s do it straight away.'”

Arsenal are currently two points off Leicester City at the summit of the Premier League table and leapfrogged both Manchester clubs over the weekend, but losing Cazorla is a huge blow.

Fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere is yet to feature this season, so the Gunners will be relying on Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini in the near future, with Mikel Arteta unable to stay fit, Calum Chambers unproven in midfield and Francis Coquelin also out long term.

Wenger may be tempted to buy a midfielder in January, though he said Cazorla would be back before the season is over.

“It’s not the season. It is at least three months out, maybe four.”

Hopefully the midfielder, who turns 31 next week, makes a full and speedy recovery and we see him again before the season ends.

Get well soon, Santi!

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil