Santi Cazorla has had nine surgeries on his Achilles, keeping him out of action for Arsenal.
Santi Cazorla will miss the rest of the 2017/18 campaign after a successful operation on the Arsenal star's ongoing achilles problem.
Close friend and former Gunners ace Robert Pires told Marca (via Daily Express) that the Spain international would not be fit enough in time to feature at any point this term due to the injury that has blighted his career for the past 12 months.
Cazorla initially picked up the achilles tendon issue back in November 2016 during the 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets in the Champions League, and had hoped to be back playing not long after that.
However, the playmaker has since seen his return to first-team action knocked back twice due to the severity of the injury, and Pires admitted it would be a while yet before the 32-year-old returns to training let alone the pitch.
He said: "I've known Santi for a long time because we played together at Villarreal. He's my friend and I'm very disappointed for him because he's a great professional.
“He's had the surgery on his Achilles tendon so he's out for six months. The situation is very difficult and I keep in contact with him."
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had hoped that Cazorla would return to the fold after the New Year to help boost his side's chances of finishing in the Premier League's top four this season.
Those plans have naturally been shelved due to this latest setback, and no fixed date has yet been pencilled in for Cazorla's return to allow him as much recuperation time as possible.
The Gunners could be set to lose key playmaking trio Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere either in January or next summer and the return of Cazorla would help nullify the blow of losing any of them. Whether the ex-Malaga star can fully recover from this long-term injury is still up for debate, but Arsenal fans will be delighted if Cazorla takes to the field for their club again in the future.