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Cazorla out until March, Wenger admits

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Arsenal's midfielder Santi Cazorla (C) celebrates with his teammates Mesut Oezil (L) and Calum Chambers (R) after scoring a goal during the Barclays Asia Trophy soccer match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at the National Stadium in Singapore, 18 July 2015.  PHOTO/AFP

Arsenal’s midfielder Santi Cazorla (C) celebrates with his teammates Mesut Oezil (L) and Calum Chambers (R) after scoring a goal during the Barclays Asia Trophy soccer match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at the National Stadium in Singapore, 18 July 2015. PHOTO/AFP

LONDON, December 4- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted midfielder Santi Cazorla could be out of action for up to three months after suffering knee ligament damage.

The Spaniard is set to visit a specialist in a bid to ascertain the full extent of the injury, but the initial prognosis is that he could well be on the treatment table until March.

The injury to Cazorla adds to an already lengthy list of absentees. Key man Alexis Sanchez was injured in the same match as Cazorla, a disappointing 1-1 draw with Norwich, although the Chile international could make a return to contention by the end of December.

When asked whether Cazorla would be out of action until March, Wenger said: “It is possible.

“Ideally you want them all to be with you but we are prepared to deal with it. It is a big miss with players like that but it is a opportunity for players to come in and fill in and show they have the quality and that they are fresh and that can give a good impact to the team.

“The players injured in the last two weeks will not play tomorrow and who is back maybe in the squad could be Laurent Koscielny, and Theo Walcott will be a decision tomorrow morning.”

Much had been made of Sanchez being in ‘the red zone’ prior to the clash with Norwich, with the Chilean playing in nearly every one of his club’s games this season.

Wenger has again been forced to defend his decision to play Sanchez in the that game, insisting the forward was fit to play.

He added: “Alexis is a hamstring but I don’t know how long it will take, it is usually a quick one to recover while Cazorla we don’t know until he sees a specialist.

“Alexis had four weeks holiday, he was rested in some games and had all the medical signs to say he was okay to play between Dinamo Zagreb and Norwich.

“Nobody suggested that he could displace his back or his hamstring. When he was pushed into the boards on the side of the field that did not shock anybody. That injury can come from that as well.

“I’m not expert enough to know but if you want to blame me I’m okay with it.”

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