The shocking injury that nearly left Cazorla without a foot

The shocking injury that nearly left Cazorla without a foot

He was also told by doctors that he may never walk again.

Sanchez discovered "three more aggressive bacteria" during the surgery, the cause of the infection, and while Cazorla was successfully treated with antibiotics, his foot was at risk of being amputated to prevent the spread of gangrene up his leg. The playmaker said that as a result of the infection, eight centimeters of his Achilles tendon was missing.

The Spanish midfielder has not played for Arsenal since October previous year and has had to undergo multiple operations, resulting in the loss of eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle.

In an interview with Spanish publication Marca published on Friday (3 November), the technically-gifted midfielder, who has not played a single minute of football since a Champions League win over Ludogorets Razgrad in October 2016, spoke of how doctors initially told him to be satisfied if he reached a stage where he could once again walk with his son in the garden.

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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.

"I was still playing, and they said it was alright". Regular messages from team-mates and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger have boosted Cazorla's spirits and he says it is "a relief" to now explain the full extent of his injury.

"Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed", added Cazorla. "I still do, although the pain keeps me cautious". If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch, and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it's Santi Cazorla, so you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet. "Behind his smile is a strength you would not guess". "He is a very strong character, and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well and we hope to have him back soon".

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