Santi Cazorla has revealed how he nearly needed his foot amputated due to an infection in his right ankle following eight operations.
The 32-year-old Arsenal playmaker has not played a football match for over a year and has now given a full insight into his struggle in a wide-ranging interview with Marca.
“If you are able to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied, I was told,” Cazorla recalled of the medical diagnosis.
“He noted that I had a terrible infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone which ate into the Achilles tendon, there was 8 centimetres missing.
“My family still live in London because my children are in school there but I am here alone in Salamanca…and it’s very tough.
“The other day a woman told me I was the double of Cazorla…when I explained that it actually was me, she just laughed!
“Most days I receive messages from club and international teammates, like Iniesta, Silva, David Villa…
“I’m still cautious because of the pain and the tough times but I still trust in myself but you have to bare in mind this injury has never been as straightforward as many thought.
“I am aiming to return in January, it keeps me motivated.”