- Santi Cazorla had a skin graft from a tattoo on his arm to rescue his ankle from an infection eating his Achilles tendon.
- The Arsenal midfielder endured gangrene, eight operations, and had eight centimetres of tendon missing from his foot.
- The player is currently in rehabilitation and hopes to return to football in the coming months.
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla suffered an injury so nasty he is seemingly fortunate to be able to return to football.
Cazorla has not played for 13 months after experiencing complications with a bone fissure he first suffered in 2013 while on international duty for Spain.
Since then, he has endured eight operations and the wound in his ankle failed to heal. It was so severely infected that “eight centimetres” of the Achilles tendon was “missing,” according to an interview Cazorla did with Spanish newspaper MARCA.
Cazorla said there was “a tremendous infection.” He added: “I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the Achilles tendon.”
The player had to have a skin graft from a tattoo of his daughter’s name on his right arm, in order to rescue his ankle.
Cazorla was told by British doctors that he should be “satisfied” if he could recover well enough to walk. “If you get to walk again with your son in the garden, be satisfied, they told me,” he said.
But after an intense period of rehabilitation in Spain — which has included getting “in the pool,” “an hour of pilates,” and riding “a bike with new friends” — he is hopeful of returning to training in January.
“I will not give pleasure to those who do not want me to play again,” he states on his WhatsApp profile, according to Marca.”I WILL RETURN.”
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