Wenger de­fends Arse­nal treat­ment of crocked Ca­zorla

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger has de­fended the club’s han­dling of Santi Ca­zorla af­ter it emerged that the mid­fielder could miss a fur­ther three months be­cause of im­pend­ing an­kle surgery. The 31-year-old’s Achilles prob­lem had al­ready side­lined the Spain in­ter­na­tional for nine games. Wenger said last week he hope Ca­zorla would be back in a fort­night and there was fur­ther bad news yes­ter­day for the vet­eran French man­ager when it was an­nounced that full-back Mathieu De­buchy could be out for six weeks with a “se­vere” ham­string in­jury.

Asked if he had any re­grets over Arse­nal’s treat­ment of Ca­zorla, Wenger replied: “No I don’t be­cause we al­ways li­aise with Santi’s peo­ple and he is treated the way we wanted him to be treated.

“It is al­ways very sen­si­tive. Bone in­flam­ma­tion, you never know how long it will last. For me it’s very bad news. You al­ways know the date of the surgery but never the date where the player will play again.

“I al­ways try to put ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing in place to avoid surgery be­cause it cre­ates anx­i­ety and re­hab. When you can avoid it, you have to avoid it.

“In this case, un­for­tu­nately we have come to that con­clu­sion. Now they tell me that he will be out for two months at least but two months can some­times be three as well. “What’s go­ing wrong is that he has an in­flam­ma­tion at the back of his foot. The anti-in­flam­ma­tory in­jec­tions have not got rid of it. The sur­geon de­cided to have an ex­ploratory surgery-that means open and see what’s go­ing on in there.”

Arse­nal, cur­rently three points adrift of Pre­mier League lead­ers and London ri­vals Chelsea, do have al­ter­na­tive mid­field op­tions in Fran­cis Co­quelin, Aaron Ram­sey, Mo­hamed El­neny and Granit Xhaka, with Wenger say­ing he had no plans to seek a re­place­ment for Ca­zorla dur­ing the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

“Not re­ally, no,” said Wenger. “In mid­field we have many play­ers. There are two rea­sons-first of all we have the num­ber and the qual­ity and se­condly, in the Jan­uary trans­fer mar­ket, you will not nec­es­sar­ily find a Ca­zorla, even if you wanted to.

“Santi is des­per­ate to play foot­ball. He’s only happy on the foot­ball pitch. I’ve spo­ken to him, of course. He him­self wants to get out of that vi­cious cir­cle of go­ing out and com­ing in again. He just wants to cure it.” De­buchy in­jured his ham­string just 16 min­utes into his come­back, the France in­ter­na­tional in the XI that beat Bournemouth 3-1 last week­end de­spite not start­ing an Arse­nal game in over a year.

“It’s a se­vere ham­string in­jury. Six weeks (out), I think,” said Wenger. “Look, it’s frus­trat­ing for me, but even more for him be­cause he fights very hard. He is a guy who has ex­cep­tional at­ti­tude and is very se­ri­ous. “Over­all, I think that he is ab­so­lutely dis­ap­pointed, but he is as well a fighter and he will fight to come back,” added Wenger ahead of Arse­nal’s trip across London to West Ham to­day.

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