The shocking injury that nearly left Cazorla without a foot

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He's revealed that surgeons even told him that he should be "satisfied" to be able to walk with his son in the garden again.

Cazorla has been out of action for over a year with an Achilles problem, and nearly had his foot amputated after contracting gangrene.

He spoke to Marca's Lorena Gonzalez and explained how his career nearly came to an end: "If you get to walk again with your son in the garden, be satisfied, they told me".

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has revealed his foot nearly needed to be amputated after requiring eight surgeries on his ankle, which developed gangrene. "There was eight centimetres of it missing".

However, his recovery was not as straightforward as anticipated: "The medical professionals told me it was OK, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected".

Cazorla last played for Arsenal in October 2016, in a Champions League game against Ludogorets, and has since undergone eight operations on his ankle.

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After a final, successful, operation at the end of May, Cazorla had a skin graft taken from his forearm where he has the name of his daughter tattooed and put over his Achilles in order that the wound heels.

"The medical professionals told me it was OK, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, and become infected", said Cazorla, before going on to explain how he sought a long-term solution to the problem in England but failed to do so and so chose to visit a specialist in Spain who outlined to the 32-year-old just how bad the damage to his right foot and leg had become.

The 32-year-old, who is now recovering in Spain, also picked up a serious blood infection that could have led to the loss of his foot, had it not been detected and treated.

His achilles tendon and the bone in his foot were both damaged but he is now targeting a return to football early in 2018, although he is still in Salamanca, Spain while he recovers.

He recently said: 'The first signs are positive, but still he has not played for one and a half years. "Nobody trusted me but I do, I still do, although the pain keeps me cautious".