Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has revealed that he underwent a minor ankle operation on Thursday afternoon and does not know when he will be able to return to action.
Cazorla, who has not played since Oct. 19, was originally expected to rejoin the Arsenal squad in the coming weeks after having surgery on his right ankle back in December in Sweden.
However, a source told ESPN FC on Thursday that the Spain international has been ruled out for the rest of the season and the player himself told Onda Cero that he has had to go under the knife again.
"I had to have a minor operation to close the scar that had opened," he said. "It was nothing serious but I still had to go to the hospital [on Thursday afternoon].
"I had a graft done on my ankle a month-and-a-half ago because the skin on my ankle was practically dead and that was the reason why the wound would not close when I first had my operation in Sweden.
"Everything was going well until I started to do some exercises on the bicycle. The skin opened again and the stitches gave in. We hope this is the last one and I can return as soon as possible."
The 32-year-old, who has agreed a one-year contract extension to his current deal which expires this summer, says it is difficult to give a timeline of when he will be back.
"I can't do anything, that is the worst thing about this situation, that it doesn't depend on me," the former Villarreal player said. "It's not a case of how much work I put in, I need for the wound to close. I just have to wait to see how the new skin that they took from my arm adapts.
"I now have to wait two weeks to see if the wound and the scar close. That is my biggest concern. I know I have to be optimistic and deal with it in the best possible way."
A knee injury saw Cazorla sidelined for three months last campaign and the midfielder has made just 11 appearances for Arsenal this season.
"I want to return as soon as possible," he said. "I miss going to training, being with my teammates and playing. Right now I have to stay at home, move with crutches and it's a difficult situation to deal with.
"I still have one year left on my contract and my only desire is to return to playing and to compete at the highest level."