Santi Cazorla has expressed his frustration at suffering a fresh injury during his first week back in training after an already-lengthy spell on the sidelines.
In an interview with his club’s official website, the Arsenal midfielder said that he still has some recovering to do before returning to the training ground.
Cazorla found himself on the treatment table after injuring his knee during the Gunners’ Premiership fixture against Norwich in November. The Spanish playmaker showed signs of an early recovery, but any hopes of returning to first-team action ahead of schedule were dashed soon after returning to training.
“We’d planned for me to come back after four months and my goal was to play in the second leg against Barcelona [in March],” he said. “Everything was going well and my recovery was even ahead of schedule, but sadly it all went wrong on my second day running outside with the fitness coach.
“I started to feel a really sharp pain in my Achilles and that’s why it’s been five months. It’s been tough because it was an unexpected blow and that always makes it harder to take.
“It was something even worse I had to take in but these things happen in football and I hope I can recover as quickly as possible because I’m dying to play again.
“I still have a little way to go until I’m back to my best and can play with the team,” he added. “I’m training with them now so I can return as soon as possible.
“I hate not playing. I need the daily routine of football so when I can’t do that I don’t enjoy it.
“Obviously we haven’t been able to challenge for the title. We’ve made mistakes in key matches and that’s prevented us from fighting with Leicester and Tottenham.
“I remember the home game against Swansea for example, you cannot afford to drop three points at home in a game like that if you want to fight for the title. That’s why we’re a little way off in the title race.”