Bengaluru, April 20: Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal are ready to offer injured Santi Cazorla a new contract despite the Spaniard not playing since October 2016. Moreover, Wenger also does not know when the player will be back on the field.
The Spaniard has suffered a series of career-threatening injury and has undergone a staggering 10 operations, resulting in the loss of eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle which now has left his future at the highest level in serious doubt.
The 33-year-old's current deal expires at the end of 2017-18 but giving hope to his fans, Wenger told the midfielder's rehab is going pretty well and the player could be offered a new deal but only after a fitness assessment at the end of the season.
"Yes, of course (we will assess him)," Wenger said. "We miss him a lot. I never spoke about it in the press conferences, or not many times, as he was not the subject of the day but we have missed him a lot in our game. He is an exceptional football player and it is very sad what happened to him, and very sad for Arsenal as well.
"I have not seen him since the League Cup final because he has gone back to make his rehab. We leave him there. But the last news I heard is that he is doing very well, so I hope that certainly he will come back before the end of the season and we can make a check-up of where he stands. Can he play again in the Premier League? I don't know, I have to see how he responds to his injury. I hope yes, but I don't know."
Cazorla has been out of action since enduring an Achilles injury in a 6-0 UEFA Champions League victory against Ludogorets in October 2016. At first, it was thought that the injury was not that much serious but later he had to undergo surgery. However, after a number of surgeries, still, the problem did not fade away and a new concern arose when an infection almost led to him having his foot amputated.
However, after another round of surgeries, Cazorla's condition now has stabilised and the player. is now progressing well in rehab. The midfielder is currently proceeding with his recovery in Spain and is supposed to return to the club in the coming weeks to make a decision on his future.