Managers, obviously, see a lot of injuries. They see minor training injuries, they see serious long-term injuries, and they see the recovery process that players use to get away from those injuries. And while they’re not doctors, over enough time, they get a pretty good sense for the arc of an injury. While all injuries are different, recovery arcs can tend to be similar, in time and in milestone tracking, and managers, working with their staffs, can get good at knowing how far away a player is from a full recovery fairly quickly.
Which makes the sad story of Santi Cazorla even sadder. We talked a couple weeks ago about the horrific path his injury and recovery have taken, which is absolutely worth a read if you haven’t seen it, and today Wenger himself spoke about it for the first time in a while. When asked about Cazorla’s injury and status, he said
“It is the worst injury I have known,” Wenger admitted at his press conference this morning. “Starting with a pain in the Achilles, and it has gone from worse to worse.
I mean, that’s from a guy who has spent his entire life in the game and has, in the vernacular, seen some shit. So when he says it’s the worst injury he’s known, that raises eyebrows. Wenger was then asked about the prospects for Santi’s return in January, which was sort of the original idea:
Wenger would love him to, but he did not sound confident about it. “I wish,” Wenger said, when asked about Cazorla coming back
He also admitted that it is possible that Cazorla, who turns 33 in just under a month, may never play for Arsenal again, although he did tell the interviewer that he “hope(s) you are wrong” about that.
At this point, honestly, I just want Santi to be healthy again; if he ever plays another game, it’ll be a nice bonus, but there are more important things than that, and after going down the road that he’s gone down with this, one more game and then calling it a career might not be the worst end we could imagine.