Santi Cazorla played his first game of football since October 2016 when he turned out yesterday for Villarreal in a friendly against Hercules.
The former Gunner got 15 minutes at the end of the game, after enduring a nightmare of injuries, infections and complicated surgeries which have cost him almost two years of his career.
The 33 year old was obviously delighted to make his comeback but revealed he’s still got some way to go to feel normal again.
Speaking to the official Villarreal website, he said, “It is hard to express what it feels like to be out on the pitch after so much time.
“To feel like a footballer again, to feel the love of the people and the reception they gave me.
“People tell me that I have to assess where I am now and where I was 20 months ago and to think about what I have gone through.
“I am only thinking about getting rid of the pain as soon as possible because I am not enjoying what I am doing.
“I want to train with my colleagues again and to feel like a footballer.”
It’s been a hugely traumatic experience, and I’m sure all Arsenal fans will wish him well as he continues on his difficult road to full recovery – if he ever gets there.
Good luck, Santi!