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Arsenal's Santi Cazorla opens up about career-threatening injury

04 November 2017

Injury-ravaged Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has revealed that he nearly lost his foot during his lay-off.

"If you manage to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied, they told me", Cazorla said of the doctors' consultation.

Cazorla last played for Arsenal in October 2016, in a Champions League game against Ludogorets, and has since undergone eight operations on his ankle.

"The problem was that it would not heal, the wound would reopen and it would get infected".

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As can be seen in a striking picture centred on Marca's front page, the 32-year-old also required a graft that saw some of the skin from his right forearm - which bears a tattoo with the name of his daughter - transferred onto the back of his heel. "There was eight centimetres of it missing".

The 32-year-old, who is now recovering in Spain, also picked up a serious blood infection that could have led to the loss of his foot, had it not been detected and treated. The player is now in rehabilitation and hopes to return to football in the coming months.

"The doctor saw I had this awful infection that had damaged part of my heel bone and eaten away eight centimetres of my Achilles", he added.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla insists he remains on course to return to action by January after revealing the horrifying true extent of his long-term battle with a gruesome achilles injury that could have resulted in him losing his leg.

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"I do not have clearance until January, but I will come back by then".

"Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed", added Cazorla.

Cazorla, who has scored 29 goals in 180 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club from Malaga in 2012, has been working with Spain's national team physio Juan Carlos Herranz in the city of Salamanca to regain his fitness. "Nobody trusted me but I do, I still do, although the pain keeps me cautious".

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Arsenal's Santi Cazorla opens up about career-threatening injury