By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this

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Santi Cazorla has flown to Spain to see a knee specialist amid new fears that he might not play again this season, Football Insider sources understand.

Arsenal’s medical team still do not know the extent of the damage suffered by Cazorla when he suffered a knee ligament injury against Norwich last Sunday.

An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that there are concerns that Cazorla has ruptured his lateral collateral ligament.

This could mean the Spaniard’s recovery time would be longer than the initial three-month period estimated by club medics. The worst-case scenario is that he might struggle to play again this season.

Cazorla is in his homeland to see Dr Ramon Cugat as the Gunners try to establish the extent of the injury, and whether or not the midfielder will need surgery.

Such a scenario would be another shattering blow for Arsenal, who are already without Francis Coquelin for three to six months, and could now face a similar situation with his regular central midfield partner.

Speaking at his media conference on Friday, manager Arsene Wenger said: “It could be a rupture. Could it be the whole season? I don’t know, I have to wait until we have a complete assessment from the specialist.”

Shattering blow: Coquelin could be out for six months with knee ligament damage

Shattering blow: Coquelin could be out for six months with knee ligament damage

Wenger has admitted he did not know how serious Cazorla’s injury was during last Sunday’s clash at Carrow Road as the player continued to play on in the final minutes of the match after Arsenal had used all three substitutes.

“We know his external knee ligament has been touched. I don’t understand how he carried on, I saw he was not himself.

“I could see he was not completely but every time I asked if he was alright and he said he was OK.

“He was even booked for diving when his knee let him down, because he could not change direction.”