- Spain international Santi Cazorla trains for the first time at the Emirates after his long layoff due to Achilles injury
- The Spaniard last featured for the Gunners in their 6-0 Champions League win over Ludogorets in 2016
- However, he has revealed he will be back for the north London team in a couple of weeks from now
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla returned to training for the first time in 18 months Emirates Stadium since he suffered Achilles injury two years back.
The 33-year-old last featured for the Gunners since their 6-0 Champions League win over Ludogorets in 2016.
However, Arsenal’s head of performance Shad Forsythe was seen drilling the Spaniard before their Europa League semi final first leg clash against Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has admitted that nobody has been able to fill Carzola’s void since he got sidelined from action about 18 months ago.
The outgoing Gunners boss says he will be glad to see the Spanish midfielder return to action before the end of this season, as news have it that he is doing very well at the moment.
"We miss him a lot," said Wenger when questioned on the midfielder's future.
"I never spoke about it 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 his rehab. 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.
Wenger continued: "Can he play again in the Premier League? I don't know, I have to see how he responds to his injury."
Carzola last November disclosed that he almost had his leg amputated due to an infection in his injured ankle, saying the ‘calcaneus bone and it had eaten the achilles tendon’.
“The medical professionals told me it was OK, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, and become infected,” said Cazorla in an interview with Spanish newspaper, Marca.
“He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the achilles tendon. There was eight centimetres of it missing.”
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old has confirmed that he will return to training with Arsenal's first team in the next two weeks.
The midfielder got his senior career started at Villarreal team Bin 2003, where he played 40 games and scored four goals in just one season.
He was promoted to the Yellow Submarine’s main team the same year and in three seasons; he scored two goals in 54 matches for the team.
Carzola left Villareal for Recreativo Huelva in 2006 for just one season and rejoined the Estadio de la Cerámica side in 2007.
While he was away at Recreativo, he scored seven goals in 34 matches, and his return to his former club saw him appear for them in over 120 games with 23 goals to show for his efforts.
He left Spain to join Arsenal in 2012 and until his injury in late 2016; he has scored 25 goals in 129 matches for the Gunners.
Meanwhile, his current deal with the north London team will expire at the end this season.
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