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Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla confirms further surgery delaying his comeback from injury

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Charlie Nicholas urges “stunning talent” Santi Cazorla to be patient in his comeback from injury after the Arsenal midfielder announced he has undergone further surgery

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has confirmed he has suffered a setback to his return to first-team football after undergoing further surgery to his injured ankle.

The 32-year old has not featured for Arsenal since October 2016 after he sustained an Achilles problem during their 6-0 Champions League win over Ludogorets.

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Cazorla - who was initially left out of the Gunners' 25-man Premier League squad earlier this season - has endured eight surgeries since the issues with his ankle began in 2013.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Santi Cazorla of Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea speak prior to The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at We
Image: Santi Cazorla confirms he has had further surgery to his injured ankle which has kept him out of action for over a year

The Spaniard confirmed he has lost eight centimetres of his Achilles tendon as a result, and feared he may lose his foot after suffering an infection earlier this month.

A statement on his social media accounts read: "Some discomfort in the tendon that had dragged the last few days, I have had to undergo surgery. It is delaying the date of return to the playing fields, I maintain the illusion and motivation to enjoy my great passion, soccer."

Former Arsenal striker and Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas hailed Cazorla a "stunning talent" as he urged the midfielder to be patient in his comeback.

Nicholas told Premier League Daily: "A lot of guys get bad injuries. I had a broken leg in the early 80s and it was tough to come back from that then.

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"This is a mental fight that you have to pursue and just wait to see.

"All I would say is 'Santi, take care of yourself, get yourself right and see where we go from here'. Arsenal can wait all day."

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