Santi Cazorla has opened up about the extent of his long lay-off from football, revealing how an ankle injury he sustained in 2013 nearly led to his leg being amputated.
Santi Cazorla hasn't made an appearance for Arsenal in over a year but he came close to never walking again due to a horrific Achilles injury that led to eight operations on his ankle.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has revealed his foot nearly needed to be amputated after requiring eight surgeries on his ankle, which developed gangrene.
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The Arsenal midfielder has not played since a 6-0 Champions League victory over the Bulgarian side Ludogorets last October and even that now appears remarkable given the difficulties he has endured since sustaining a tear to the bone after he was kicked in the right ankle while playing for Spain in October 2013.
"He saw I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the Achilles tendon", said Cazorla. "There was eight centimetres of it missing".
The player had also picked up a serious blood infection that, had it not been treated, could have resulted in the loss of his foot.
Quite incredibly, Cazorla is targeting his comeback to the Arsenal team at the beginning of the new year, with Arsene Wenger stating that he is in his plans for the second half of the season.
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He is continuing his rehabilitation at the clinic of Spain physio Juan Carlos Herraez in the small city of Salamanca, two hours west of Madrid.
"I do not have clearance until January, but I will come back by then", he said.
"I'm still cautious because of the pain and the tough times but I still trust in myself but you have to bare in mind this injury has never been as straightforward as many thought".
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