Arsenal star Santi Cazorla almost had to have foot amputated as he reveals scar from eight Achilles surgeries
Arsenal star Santi Cazorla has spoken about the injury nightmare that has seen him sidelined for over a year, undergo countless operations, contract gangrene and nearly lose his foot.
In an exclusive interview with Marca, the 32-year-old Spain midfielder - who is now on the road to recovery and could even be running out for the Gunners again by January - reveals the torment of being told he would never play again and would have to make do with walks in the garden with his son after multiple operations that resulted in the loss of eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle.
Cazorla picked up an Achilles problem at the start of last season and has undergone eight operations since the initial injury in a desperate bid to return, even requiring the skin of his arm to cover the wound - featuring his tattoo.
"The problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected," he said.
After doctors in England failed to find a solution to the problem, he turned to Spain and Dr Mikel Sánchez who admitted he had never encountered a similar case in all his years as a specialist.
"He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the bone and damaged the Achilles tendon," added Cazorla.
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. Now, remarkably, he could be back playing within months as he continues his rehabilitation in his hometown of Salamanca.
Arsene Wenger recently revealed that he is ready to welcome the playmaker back to his squad after the Christmas period and Cazorla is looking forward to returning to his London home.
"My family is still in London because my children started school there, being alone without them is the hardest thing."