Arsenal midfielder Cazorla could be out until March

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December 05, 2015
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla celebrates after scoring the first goal of the game during the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London, on January 4, 2014. (AP Photo)

LONDON (AP):

Arsenal's injury crisis in midfield deepened after Santi Cazorla damaged ligaments in his left knee and could be out for up to four months. "It is possible," manager Arsene Wenger said yesterday, when asked if Cazorla will be missing until March.

With central midfielders Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, and Tomas Rosicky also injured, and star winger Alexis Sanchez out with a hamstring problem, Cazorla's setback leaves Arsenal short heading into the hectic spell of games before and during the festive period.

Arsenal is fourth in the English Premier League ahead of a home game against Sunderland today, the first of seven matches in 29 days. The team faces a must-win match at Olympiakos on Wednesday to stand a chance of reaching the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Cazorla played on against Norwich last Sunday after taking a heavy knock in the early stages of the second half. Defender Laurent Koscielny and Sanchez were taken off injured during that game, which finished 1-1, but Cazorla wasn't substituted.

Wenger wouldn't put a time frame on Sanchez's absence, and defended his decision to play the Chile international at Norwich after a long run of games for club and country.

"He was rested in some games and had all the medical signs to say he was OK to play between Dinamo Zagreb (in the Champions League) and Norwich," Wenger said.

"I had a chat with Sanchez after the injury (and) he is adamant he felt perfect."

Arsenal has 10 players out, continuing the club's poor injury record in recent seasons.

However, Wenger said: "We compare our injuries across Europe with all the leagues, and I don't think we have more injuries than anybody else."

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