Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has exposed the true extent of his ankle injury in graphic detail with the admission that he should be satisfied just to walk again.
The Spain international has been out of action since the end of 2016 follow surgery to his right foot. What had been thought would be less than a month on the sidelines has turned into an unending nightmare for the 32-year-old.
Following the removal of his surgery stitches, the surgical wound continually failed to heal, in spite of a further eight separate surgeries to repair the wound.
With an infection rampant, his doctor found that Cazorla had suffered enormous damage to his ankle.
"They told me if I walked with my son again, I should be happy."
Cazorla opens up on injury torment.
— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) November 3, 2017
Speaking to Marca, the Arsenal midfielder revealed,
“He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the Achilles tendon.
“There was eight centimetres of it missing!”
Following a further surgery in May, which saw doctors rebuild the tendon and a skin graft from his forearm, the long road to recovery began.
Following further troubles which have hampered his return, Cazorla remains optimistic and insists that he will return,
“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.
“Nobody trusted me but I do, I still do, although the pain keeps me cautious.
“I will not give pleasure to those who do not want me to play again. I will return.”