Cazorla still playing through pain after Villarreal appearance

After appearing in a pre-season game for Villarreal, Santi Cazorla has admitted he is still not 100 per cent healthy.

Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted he is still playing through the pain after being given a pre-season run-out for Villarreal.

The 33-year-old came on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Hercules on Tuesday, making his first appearance since October 2016.

Cazorla's six-year spell at Emirates Stadium came to an end at the conclusion of 2017-18, after a series of debilitating injuries kept him on the sidelines.

However, the Spain international admitted after the match that he did not enjoy his appearance, and will not feel like a footballer until his health improves.

"I am only thinking about getting rid of the pain as soon as possible because I am not enjoying what I am doing," Cazorla told Marca.

"I want to train with my colleagues again and to feel like a footballer. It is hard to express what it feels like to be out on the pitch after so much time.

"To feel like a footballer again, to feel the love of the people and the reception they gave me."