Santi Cazorla has suggested he will remain on the sidelines when Arsenal visit Manchester United on Saturday (19 November) as he is still trying to recover from an achilles injury. The Spaniard refused to put a timeframe on his return to action but adding that it could take a few weeks.
The 31-year-old midfielder picked up a knock in the his achilles tendon during the 6-0 victory over Ludogorets on 19 October.
Cazorla had to be replaced during the Champions League match as a result but, speaking with IBTimes UK after that encounter, suggested that the substitution was only a precautionary measure and he expected to be available in only a matter of days.
However, the former Malaga star has eventually been out of action since then, missing the next five games, including the three Premier League encounters against Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsene Wenger has failed to address the extent of the injury in his press conferences but it looks that Cazorla will also be missing in the crucial trip to Manchester United.
Yet, asked during an interview with Cadena Cope when he will be ready to return to action, Cazorla replied: "Well, I still don't know the exact time. I am trying to return as soon as soon as possible to be with the team again but I cannot say if it will be soon or if I still have a few weeks left. It is what I do not know but hopefully it will be as soon as possible."
"I wish (to return to the national team) but to get that I need to play for Arsenal. I have to recover from the injury. I need to enjoy [playing] again at Arsenal and then, if things go well, let's see if I have the opportunity to return to the national team again."
The Spaniard already spent much of last season on the sidelines due to injury and doesn't want to rush his return this time, so it looks also uncertain whether he will be available for the Champions League clash with Paris Saint Germain, which will come only four days after the visit to Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Cazorla once again played down reports in Spain linking him with a move to Atletico Madrid despite his contract at Arsenal expiring at the end of the current season.
"No, no. I have already said that there have always been many rumours but they have never been called me to express something serious. It's more a matter of the press."
But whether Cazorla continues at the Emirates Stadium next season he expects that Wenger will remain at North London.
Questioned whether he believes the French boss could still have any chance to become in the next England boss, he said: "No, the manager is very focused on Arsenal. He has been here most of his life and in the short term I do not think he plans to leave the Arsenal to coach the national team."