Santi Cazorla, the Arsenal midfielder, has revealed that he came close to having his foot amputated after undergoing eight operations on the ankle injury he suffered more than a year ago but hopes to make a return by January.
Cazorla last played for Arsenal in a 6-0 win over Ludogorets in October 2016 but signed a new contract earlier this year that keeps him with the Gunners until June next year.
"I don't have a spot until January but my intention is to return by then", Cazorla told Marca.
He shared a photograph of the state of his right ankle following the effects of the numerous operations and it appeared on Marca's front page.More news: Chester Bennington tribute concert
"At that time I was still playing, they told me it was okay, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected".
Dr. Mikel Sánchez opened up the player's ankle, put his hands to his head and revealed the extent of the issue, explains Cazorla: "He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and that it had eaten my Achilles tendon, I was missing eight centimetres!". Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed. Although Cazorla's family are still living in London where his children are at school, he has been based at a hotel in Salamanca since July, where he is working daily with Juan Carlos Herraez, the Spain team's physiotherapist.
The Spanish global said the infection had eaten the Achilles tendon on his right leg and that doctors feared the worst. "Now I realise who is who [those who care]".
"Most days I receive messages from club and global teammates, like Iniesta, Silva, David Villa..."