Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has opened up about his injury horror, revealing doctors said he is lucky to even be walking.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has opened up about his injury horror, revealing he could even have seen his foot amputated as a result of a gangrenous infection.
Cazorla hasn't played for the Gunners for over a year as a result of a troublesome Achilles problem - his last game was against Ludogorets in the Champions League on October 19 2016 - and has undergone a total of eight surgeries.
The 32-year-old has revealed to Marca how doctors actually considered taking his foot after infection caught hold, and even now has been informed he is lucky to be able to walk.
Cazorla lost a total of 8cm of tendon from his Achilles and has required a skin graft, taken from his arm where he has the name of his children tattooed, to suitably cover the wound that had been left in a dire state after consistently going under the surgeon's knife.
He now has part of that tattoo on his ankle and a scar on his arm from where the skin was taken.
"Now I do not know how to fix my arm tattoo, maybe I'll leave it like that, now it has more meaning than ever," Cazorla explained.
But, after all that he has been through in treatment rooms and hospitals, the two-time European Championship winning Spaniard is still targeting a miraculous return to playing in the New Year.
January has been earmarked for his comeback, with manager Arsene Wenger most recent comments on the subject stating, "The first signs are positive. He is not in full training yet, he needs a few games with the reserve team. So I think if all goes well, it will be after Christmas."