Arsenal suffer major injury blow: Midfielder ruled out for rest of season

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Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla will be out for the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.

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The Spanish schemer has been out of action since hobbling off in the Champions League game against Ludogorets in October, and had been expected to make his comeback before the end of the campaign following surgery in December.

But ESPN FC claims that his rehabilitation is behind schedule, with a return now not expected until pre-season at the earliest.

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The news comes as a major blow to Arsene Wenger’s side, who have missed Cazorla’s creative instincts in recent months. Since his injury, the Gunners’ title hopes have all but dissipated, while Liverpool and Manchester United are also threatening their place in the top four.

In his absence, the returning Aaron Ramsey and versatile midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will battle it out for a place in Wenger’s team.

Cazorla has made 180 appearances for Arsenal since signing from Malaga in a £16.5m deal in 2012.

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