By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Santi Cazorla is targeting Arsenal’s trip to bitter rivals Tottenham for his first-team comeback, Football Insider sources understand.
The Spaniard is stepping up his recovery after being sidelined with knee ligament damage for nearly months.
He has begun running outdoors with Gunners fitness coach Tony Colbert and is ready to begin high intensity work as he targets his return.
An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Cazorla could make an appearance for the club’s Under-21s as an over-age player against Wolves on 29 February.
He then hopes to play some part in the north London derby against Spurs at White Hart Lane the following weekend in a match which could be pivotal in the title race.
Arsenal climbed to within two points over the Premier League summit after beating leaders Leicester 2-1 last Sunday, although Spurs’ victory at Manchester City the same day means Arsene Wenger’s side are third in the table.
Speaking before the Leicester match last Friday about Cazorla and fellow long-term absentee Jack Wilshere, Wenger said: “They are back running, they are on a fitness programme now so it means it is not a question of months anymore, it is a question of weeks for them to be back. I can’t count on them in the next three or four weeks but everybody else yes [I will count on them].”