Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Santi Carzola has been suffering greatly after not being able to play football for around a year.
The midfielder has been out of action since last October, and in that time he has had numerous operations on his right ankle to try and get fully fit again. Yet, the 32-year-old is still not expected to return before the beginning of 2018.
His absence in this Arsenal team has been sorely missed, especially given their win rate with the Spaniard in their side. When the midfielder played, the Gunners had a 65.5% win rate, but without him just 38.9%.
Wenger has revealed that he and Arsenal hope to have Carzola back soon, while also describing how the Arsenal star has been suffering while on the sidelines. As reported by the Guardian, the manager said "I have been in touch with Santi throughout his rehab, and it has been extremely tough and testing for him.
"If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch, and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it's Santi Carzola. So you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet.
"He is extremely strong and brave, and behind his smile is a strength you would not guess. He is a very strong character, and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well and we hope to have him back soon."
Ahead of Arsenal's big clash against Manchester City tomorrow in the Premier League, Arsenal's Twitter account brought up the assist Carzola made a couple of years back against City as he inspired the Gunners to beat them 2-0 away from home.
Arsenal currently sit fifth in the league table, level on points with Chelsea, as they take on league leaders Manchester City tomorrow afternoon at the Etihad Stadium.