Arsenal fans feared the worst on Wednesday when several media outlets reported that Santi Cazorla had suffered a setback in his recovery from an Achilles injury.
The Mirror reported that the Gunners’ star might not even play again this season.
But Cazorla has eased fans’ concerns by insisting that his rehabilitation is going as planned and he will be ready for Arsenal’s clash against Watford on April 2.
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Arsene Wenger raised concerns on Tuesday when he admitted Cazorla’s Achilles had inflamed.
The Gunners boss said, per the Mirror: “Santi is not doing too well. He has some Achilles problems that hold him (back). His knee is doing well but his Achilles has inflamed a little bit and we have to put him off impact.
The Spaniard has been out of action since November 29 and in that time, Arsenal have seen their title hopes suffer a setback.
The draw at Carrow Road left the Gunners two points adrift of then-leaders Manchester City. Now, they are six points behind Leicester in the race for the title.
So the mercurial Cazorla has been a big miss, but he provided an update on his injury on Wednesday afternoon.
The 31-year-old tweeted: “Surprised by the piece of news appeared in press, deadlines are going as planned. I will be ready on 1st April. #workinghard”.
Whether you’re an Arsenal fan or not has a big impact on how you will view Cazorla’s tweet. If you’re part of the Gunners’ faithful, you will likely be buoyed by the news that one of the most important players in the team will be fit for the first six league games.
On the other hand...
However, pessimists will point to the fact that Arsenal’s season could be all but over by the time he returns.
Defeat to Tottenham in Saturday’s north London derby could end Wenger’s title dreams. Tottenham are playing the best football in England at the moment and could establish a nine-point lead over their enemies this weekend, depending on how results go on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, in the Champions League Arsenal have a mountain to climb after losing the first leg of their last 16 clash to Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium.
Nobody expects the Gunners to overturn their 2-0 deficit, and with good reason.
Hat-trick of FA Cups
Arsenal’s last shot at silverware is via the FA Cup, but failure to beat Hull means an awkward replay awaits at the KC Stadium on March 8.
So last season’s FA Cup winners are gearing up for the most important stretch of games of the season but they aren’t in the hottest form.
The Barcelona defeat was surpassed by a 3-2 loss against Manchester United on Sunday, a loss made all the more tragic by the absences of Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and Bastian Schweinsteiger from United’s line-up.
They say momentum is a vital part of being successful and Arsenal must find it. Fast.