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Arsenal hanging on to spare parts

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Santi Cazorla plays down reports of a fresh injury setback

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla insists he will be back on the pitch in April, despite Arsene Wenger revealing that the Spaniard has suffered an injury setback that puts his return in doubt.

Cazorla has been sidelined with a knee injury since November and Wenger said on Tuesday that the Spaniard has an inflamed Achilles which means he has to stop putting pressure on his injured leg.

However, Cazorla responded on Twitter on Wednesday by saying that his rehab is going "as planned" and that he will back on April 1.

Wenger had sounded more doubtful of that on Tuesday.

"Santi is not doing too well, he has some Achilles problems and we have to put him off impact," Wenger said.

When asked if Cazorla could still return in April, the Arsenal boss added: "We have to see now how he responds. He always had a little tendinitis on his Achilles, and we have to see how he responds to that."

Cazorla's presence has been sorely missed in Arsenal's central midfield, where he normally serves as the link between defence and attack. The Gunners' scoring rate has dropped since Cazorla has been out, with the team five points behind Premier League leader Leicester going into Wednesday' home game against Swansea.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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