Injury hell left Arsenal star Santi Cazorla fearing loss of right leg

Injury hell left Arsenal star Santi Cazorla fearing loss of right leg

Following an exclusive interview with Spanish publication Marca, Cazorla has opened up about how he was told by specialists that he would be lucky if he ever kicked a ball 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.

"'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]".

As can be seen in a striking picture centred on Marca's front page, the 32-year-old also required a graft that saw some of the skin from his right forearm - which bears a tattoo with the name of his daughter - transferred onto the back of his heel.

Cazorla, who has not played since October 2016, is hoping to be back playing in January.

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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.

"The problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected", he said. Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed.

Cazorla, who has scored 29 goals in 180 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club from Malaga in 2012, has been working with Spain's national team physio Juan Carlos Herranz in the city of Salamanca to regain his fitness. Picking up an infection, Cazorla continued with his football comeback, but things got worse, and then came the shock.

"No one placed their trust in me but I did and I continue to do so, even though the pain makes me wary", he said.

"Almost every day I receive a message from Iniesta, Silva and Villa".

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