Arsene Wenger has confirmed Santi Cazorla could be out until March as he awaits news on the Arsenal midfielder’s knee injury. Cazorla played the full 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw at Norwich on Sunday despite hurting his knee in a collision with Gary O’Neil early in the second half.
Wenger is yet to discover the extent of the damage to the Spain midfielder or Alexis Sanchez, who suffered a hamstring injury at Carrow Road. But asked whether Arsenal could be without Cazorla until March, he said: “It’s possible.”
Statistics emerged this week showing Arsenal have had more injured players since the summer of 2010 than any other Premier League team.
But Wenger again said he had no obvious reason to rest Sanchez at Norwich and suggested the Chilean could have been injured when he was shoved into a pitchside camera pit by Ryan Bennett.
“We compare our injuries across Europe and I don’t think we have more injuries than anyone else,” he said. “Sanchez had four weeks holiday, he was rested in some games. We had five days 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. “It’s not as rational and mathematical as people think. You try to master all the scientific aspects but there are as well some irrational factors in injuries sometimes. For example, Cazorla and Francis Coquelin are traumatic injuries. What can you do about that? Nothing. “We have tests as well, we have medical tests. We are quite sophisticated in testing our players. I had a chat with Alexis after his injury and he was adamant he felt perfect before the game – we tested his strength, stretching, all the signs we test every week were perfect. “There was no obvious sign or alert before the game – it happened, do I have to take the blame? I do, but there was not an obvious mistake to select him before the game.”
Wenger could at least have Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny fit to face Sunderland on Saturday, with both due to undergo fitness tests ahead of kick-off. And the Arsenal boss insisted his attention is solely on Sunderland rather than any possible signings in January.
Asked about a reported interest in Everton’s John Stones, he said: “We are not after John Stones. We are in December and focus on tomorrow’s game.”