Arsenal have this afternoon confirmed the news that fans of the Gunners have been waiting for for months on end, as midfielder Santi Cazorla has returned to full training with the rest of the club’s squad.
Cazorla, who had developed into one of Arsene Wenger’s key men in North London since his arrival from Malaga in 2012, has not featured for Arsenal since October of 2016, when he picked up an achilles injury in a Champions League clash with Ludogorets.
The original diagnosis of the Spaniard’s problem suggested that he would be ruled out for just 3 weeks.
However, this has since proved to be far from the case, with Cazorla having now joined the likes of former Arsenal stars Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby in missing lengthy periods with what had originally been deemed only a minor issue.
Seraphin Health provided a breakdown of Cazorla’s injury nightmare in an enlightening video in September of last year, which revealed that the Spaniard had been forced to undergo a whopping 8 surgeries:
Santi Cazorla Injury Summary
🔻Minor Achilles Injury in Oct 2016
🔻8 surgeries since for a bone infection, an open wound, and skin issues pic.twitter.com/ZWGniTB2FR
— Seraphin Health 🏥 (@SeraphinHealth) September 26, 2017
While many had previously suggested that, at 33, Cazorla’s playing days were set to come to a sad end this summer, developments over the last couple of months provided the slightest glimmer of hope that he could yet prolong his career at the top level.
The former Villarreal star was first photographed kicking a ball around by himself at the Emirates two weeks ago, and, incredibly, has this afternoon officially returned to first-team training with the rest of the Arsenal squad:
😁 Santi! pic.twitter.com/1pOy7I5jiU
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 5, 2018
26th April: Santi Cazorla trains by himself on Emirates pitch
5th May: Santi Cazorla returns to full training
A sight every Arsenal fans wants to see 😍 pic.twitter.com/qoFx5JFPEz
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) May 5, 2018
SANTI CAZORLA IS BACK IN TRAINING DON’T GAS MEEEEEEEE❤ pic.twitter.com/GjZEa2ZbzE
— P¹⁸ (@RedLacazette) May 5, 2018