- Santi Cazorla opens up the horrific injury that has kept him out for over a year
- The Arsenal star was left ‘looking for a miracle’ as his career came under threat
- Cazorla lost eight centimetres from his achilles tendon following major surgery
- Midfielder has had a tattooed piece of skin from his left arm grafted to his foot
- Remarkably, Cazorla could be back playing for the Gunners as early as January
Santi Cazorla has spoken about the horrific extent of the achilles tendon injury that has kept him out of action for over a year, revealing he almost lost his foot to gangrene after contracting a dangerous infection.
The Spanish midfielder has not played for Arsenal since October last year and has had to undergo multiple operations, resulting in the loss of eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle.
An emotional interview with Spanish newspaper Marca is set to be published on Friday with the front page showing a close-up of what remains of his ankle. The image shows in graphic detail the devastation caused by going under the knife eight times in the space of a year.
Marca will run a picture of Santi Cazorla’s scarred ankle on their front page on Friday
The 32-year-old has not played for Arsenal since injuring his achilles in October last year
The shocking photo also shows that Cazorla has undergone at least one skin graft, with a tattooed piece of skin from his left arm now covering his achilles area.
At one point, there was serious consideration as to whether they should amputate his foot after he contracted a potentially life-threatening infection.
Doctors have told the 32-year-old that he is lucky to be able to walk in the garden with his son, but, remarkably, he could be back playing professional football with the Gunners as early as January.
A tattooed piece of skin from Cazorla’s left arm has been grafted onto his achilles area
Cazorla could return to Arsenal’s first-team as early as January despite the extent of his injury
Cazorla is continuing his rehabilitation in his hometown of Salamanca but Arsene Wenger recently revealed that he is ready to welcome the diminutive playmaker back to his squad after the Christmas period.
He recently said: ‘The first signs are positive, but still he has not played for one and a half years.
‘He is not in full training yet, he needs a few games with the reserve team. So I think if all goes well, it will be after Christmas.’
Cazorla joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012 and has since gone on to make 129 appearances in the Premier League and has also lifted two FA Cups.
Cazorla has scored 25 Premier League goals for Arsenal since arriving in 2012