By Harry Sykes

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he has given up on estimating when Santi Cazorla will return to the Arsenal team.

The Spain international has been sidelined since mid October with an Achilles problem that also affected him in the second half of last season.

Arsenal manager Wenger is confident that Cazorla’s injury is not a long-term one but admitted that it is difficult to know when the 31-year-old will be back in the side.

“At the moment I’ve given a little bit up on that, I don’t know how far he is,” Wenger said, as quoted by the official Arsenal website. “It looks to me that he’s making progress but as long as a player is not in full-time training with the squad, it’s very difficult to set targets.

“It’s not a big injury that will harm his future but it’s an inflammation at the back of his Achilles and it’s always very difficult on inflammations to give a set time.”

Cazorla has been an integral member of the Gunners side since joining from Malaga for £15million in the summer of 2012.

He played in an attacking midfield role in his first two seasons before switching to central midfield two years ago, where he formed an impressive partnership with Francis Coquelin.

Cazorla missed the second half of last season with knee and achilles problems but re-established himself in the team this season and was a regular starter until suffering another inflammation of his heel.

He has made 11 appearances this season, scoring two goals and supplying three assists. In total, the Spaniard has scored 29 goals and provided 45 assists in 189 matches for Arsenal.

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