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Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has revealed he is struggling to shake off a calf injury he sustained which has been keeping him away from having full-time action at the team.
Arteta also revealed he is frustrated as he has struggled to gain regular playing time since the signing of Mohamed Elneny who is gradually gaining a spot in Arsenal’s first team.
The Spaniard revealed he has been able to get back to full fitness since he underwent surgery 14 months ago.
“It has been difficult since my ankle surgery [in January 2015] to get back into the team,” Arteta told El Confidencial. “I did the entire pre-season and felt good. But I’ve played less continuously than at any time since I came to Arsenal.
“There’s a calf muscle problem and it’s affecting my pace. I’ve been training with the group again for a few days and I’m ready to help the team in the final stretch of the season.”
“I love training and playing matches. I’ve enjoyed competing and in the 17 years, I’ve been a professional I’ve always been a starter, also a captain. Ageing is a process that you have to go through and the club has to think about the future. I understand that.
“It hurts that there have been injuries that have meant I’ve not been able to play with the team. That’s what is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
“Right now I’m just focused on contributing to the team on the pitch, we’ve an exciting end of the season looming and hopefully we’ll win the Premier League.
“The next chapter is more complicated, today, I’m not sure on my plans. Obviously, it’s not impossible to think three months ahead when my contract ends here, but I won’t be thinking objectively until I’ve had two or three weeks without training. Therefore, I don’t want to make any decisions without knowing for sure how I am and what I want to do able getting back in the ring.”