We mentioned earlier that Marca had an exclusive interview with Santi Cazorla in which the Spaniard reflected on his injury situation. The quotes have finally landed and they make for tough reading, especially coming from someone who is known to be such an upbeat presence in the Arsenal dressing room.
Honestly, it sounds like he’s been to hell and back after eight operations. Amazingly, he remains upbeat about the prospect of a return to action even though he was warned at one point that his foot might have to be amputated.
“It feels like I’m getting everything off my chest by talking about what I’ve been through,” he reflects.
“It’s not been a simple injury as people thought. Nobody believed in me but I did and I still do, although I’m cautious because of the pain.”
Giving context to the emotional roller coaster he’s been on, he also touched on the medical diagnosis he received when the infection in his Achilles was at its worst.
“If you are able to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied, I was told [by the doctor].
“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 eight 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.”
Marca carry some rather gruesome images of the scar tissue on Santi’s ankle, including a skin graft from his arm that includes half a tattoo.
“I don’t know how to fix my arm tattoo now but maybe I’ll leave it like that because it’s got more meaning now than ever,” he concluded.
There’s not much more we can do but wish Santi all the best with his recovery. His current Arsenal contract comes to an end next summer; here’s hoping we can see him in action before then.
All the best Santi.