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Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla motivated by January return after Achilles tendon nightmare

04 November, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Lamar Ellis
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"'I said: 'Play with my son?' I don't have any football to play?' I'd never given it that much importance [to be able to play football again]".

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.

The 32-year-old required a skin graft using skin from his tattooed arm but that was the least of his concerns at one point.

Cazorla has not played for Arsenal since October 2016 and revealed in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca that he nearly had to have his foot amputated due to a gangreen infection after losing eight inches of his Achilles tendon.

The severity of Cazorla's injury sparked fears that he could be forced into an early retirement, although earlier this year Arsenal, in a show of faith, exercised their option to extend his expiring contract by a further 12 months to June 2018.

"He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the Achilles tendon."

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"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".

He joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012 and impressed first as an advanced midfielder and then in a deeper role, scoring 29 goals in 180 games for the Gunners.

Trying everything to get back, and focusing on Spanish treatment, Cazorla has been living in a Salamanca hotel since July, whilst his family, with children at school, remain in England. "To be without them is the hardest thing".

"I am aiming to return in January, it keeps me motivated".

Dr Sanchez, says Marca, put his hands to his head as he absorbed the full severity of Cazorla's injury. "Each day I get a message from [Barcelona's Andres] Iniesta, [Manchester City's David] Silva and [New York FC's David] Villa".

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