Santi Cazorla is hopeful he can be back in full training with Arsenal within two weeks, after an extremely extended spell on the sidelines.
The Spanish midfield magician stepped out onto the Emirates pitch for the first time in a long time on Thursday night. Although he played no part in the semi-final first leg, it was nice to see him training again.
It's only Santi bloody Cazorla out on the Emirates pitch!!!! pic.twitter.com/uZHdQiko5c
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) April 26, 2018
Now the midfielder claims he’s close to finally making his return. He told the press: “Yes it feels good. I hope I’ll be back in full training in maybe two weeks. It’s a challenge, but a positive one.”
The news left fans excited for a possible comeback before the end of the campaign. However, Arsene Wenger didn’t seem quite so optimistic in his press conference afterwards.
“He feels well,” the manager said. “But he needs a full preparation and pre-season to try to come back.
“Will he come back, and where? I don’t know. Will he stay at Arsenal? I don’t know.”
From the sounds of things we won’t see Cazorla out on the pitch until 2018/19, but even a return to full training is more than many of us expected. It’s been 554 days since his last match, almost 100 games ago for Arsenal.
It makes sense that Wenger doesn’t want to commit on whether Cazorla is staying, because of course the Arsenal manager himself is off in the summer. Santi’s contract expires at the same time, and it’s up to the new boss to decide whether to renew.
If Cazorla is playing anything like his old self though, I’m sure they’ll extend the deal.