Arsenal playmaker Cazorla out for 3 months with ankle injury

LONDON (AP) " Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla will have surgery on his right ankle and be out for about three months, robbing the team of its creative influence in central midfield.

The Spain international will undergo an operation in Sweden next week, Arsenal said Thursday, after the ankle showed no improvement during a period of rehabilitation. Cazorla has been out since Oct. 19.

In Cazorla's absence, Arsenal has won two of its five Premier League games and drawn the other three. The team lacks a replacement with the same technique and vision to play in one of the two central-midfield positions.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said last week that Cazorla was a big loss because he was "important to our technical stability in the team, to the quality of our decision-making and to our build-up from deep midfield."

Cazorla damaged knee ligaments at about the same stage last season and ended up being out for more than five months.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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