Arsene Wenger Gives Injury Updates on Arsenal Duo Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott
Cazorla has an ankle injury that has already forced him to miss four matches and now Wenger does not expect him to return until the Oct. 19 visit of Norwich to the Emirates:
Wenger on Cazorla: 'He could be back after the international break' #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Cazorla had hinted at a faster recovery from his current fitness problem, telling fans he hopes to be back for the West Brom trip on Oct. 6:
Santi says: "I will be fit maybe in one week, I hope I can play at West Brom" #AskSanti— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 26, 2013
However, Wenger's prediction that the Spaniard will not return before the international break means Cazorla is set to miss games against Swansea, Napoli and the Baggies.
His absence limits Arsenal's wide options, with Lukas Podolski, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott all currently in the treatment room.
Wenger addressed Walcott’s status, following surgery on an abdominal problem. The Arsenal boss confirmed the operation had been a success and put a tentative timeframe on his recovery:
Walcott "optimistically three weeks" and "realistically five weeks" away from return #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Two other concerns surround midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey, but Wenger expects both to be available for the trip to the Liberty Stadium:
Team news: No fresh injuries from West Brom. Flamini has small shoulder problem, Ramsey to be assessed today #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Wenger on Ramsey: "He has a little thigh problem but he should be alright" #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Flamini’s presence will be particularly key against a Swansea side who love to play between the lines of defence and midfield. The former Milan midfielder will sit in front of the back four and aim to cut the supply line to Michu.
Wenger on Michu: "I see him a little bit like a Bergkamp, positionally" #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Ramsey, meanwhile, has already scored three times in the league and is enjoying his best spell at Arsenal.
Wenger also addressed Stan Kroenke’s show of support after the club’s owner revealed he would love the Arsenal boss to extend his stay in North London. The club's official website provides Wenger's response:
I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke. That he thinks I can help the club is a huge confidence vote. That is something for me that is very positive.
The good thing with me, if I have one quality, [it's that] you don't need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have.
I don't know [when I will sign a new contract]. When we find time. I don't think that's the most important problem at the moment. It's straightforward and I don't think there's anything more to add to that.
Wenger: "I would love to be here forever because that would make me immortal! I love this Club of course" #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Arsenal are aiming to end an eight-year trophy drought this season and are currently top of the table heading into the weekend.
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