Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed that long-term absentee Santi Cazorla is on the path to recovery, but unsure whether he will stay or leave Arsenal this summer.
Following his side's 1-1 Europa League semi-final draw with Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed that long-term absentee Santi Cazorla is on the path to recovery.
The Frenchman watched on as his side failed to utilize their man advantage until the hour mark following Sime Vrsaljko's early red card, which Antoine Griezmann then nullified as he netted late on to give the Spanish capital outfit an all-important away goal going into the return leg next week.
However, on what was a disappointing night for the Gunners faithful, there were signs of positivity before kick-off as Cazorla was spotted training on the pitch, the first time he has been witnessed with a ball at his feet at the Emirates Stadium since 2016.
And following the stalemate, Wenger revealed to The Times that the play maker, whose contract expires at the end of this season, is on the recovery trail following his 18 months of injury hell, although he will of course not be around to oversee any decisions that are made regarding the 33-year-old's future.
"He feels well," the 68-year-old said. "But he needs a full preparation and pre-season to try to come back. Will he come back, and where? I don’t know. Will he stay at Arsenal? I don’t know."
The Spain international spoke to beINSPORT following the tie, as quoted by the Irish Mirror, and although his current boss sees a longer-term timescale on return, the player is eager to get back into action before the end of the season.
“Not right now," Cazorla replied when asked about the timeframe. “Yes, it feels good. I hope I’ll be back in full training in maybe two weeks. It’s a challenge but a positive one.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been another who has had to endure a spell on the sidelines, although the Armenian's absence has been much smaller.
However, The Times claim that the 29-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Manchester United in January, could be fit enough to feature in Madrid next week.