By Harry Sykes
Santi Cazorla has given Arsenal a huge boost by revealing he could be back in action a month ahead of schedule.
The Gunners playmaker was ruled out for three months by his club on Thursday as they explained he would undergo an operation on the Achilles problem that has troubled him this year.
The Arsenal bulletin appeared to mean that Cazorla, 31, would be sidelined until the start of March in a devastating blow to the team’s trophy ambitions.
But the Spaniard gave a more optimistic appraisal in a message to supporters on Friday afternoon, in which he said on his personal Twitter account that he would “be helping Arsenal in two months”.
— Santi Cazorla (@19SCazorla) December 2, 2016
Cazorla’s account suggests that he will be back playing for the Gunners at the beginning of February, which would enable him to play in the club’s last-16 Champions League tie as well as key Premier League matches.
Arsenal revealed that the Spain international will travel to Sweden early next week to undergo surgery to his right ankle.
“The club’s medical team and specialists have decided that surgery is required to the plantaris tendon in the Spain international’s right foot,” read a statement on the official Arsenal website. “We expect Santi’s full recovery to take approximately three months.”
Cazorla has been sidelined since breaking down during the London giants’ 6-0 Champions League win over minnows Ludogorets on 19 October.
The central midfielder is considered an integral member of Arsene Wenger’s side and has been sorely missed during his absence.
The team have failed to win five of their nine matches since Cazorla suffered the injury and have suffered from a lack of midfield creativity since his absence.
In other Arsenal team news, Hector Bellerin has lifted the lid on his success at the Emirates Stadium.