Arsenal's Santi Cazorla targets January return after coming close to amputation

Cazorla could return to Arsenal's first-team as early as January despite the extent of his injury

Cazorla lost eight centimetres of his Achilles tendon and has undergone eight rounds of surgery since the issues and pain first started to occur in 2013.

He was also told by doctors that he may never walk again.

The 32-year-old has been a main figure in the Arsenal line-up but has been out with a severe injury to his right ankle for just over a year.

"The problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected", he said. In pictures, I can see the tendon.

On the front page of Marca, the Spanish midfielder showed the scar around his Achilles, which needed skin from his arm to cover the wound.

Dr Sanchez, says Marca, put his hands to his head as he absorbed the full severity of Cazorla's injury.

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After a number of antibiotic treatments his condition improved, however there were fears that he could lose his leg.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla insists he remains on course to return to action by January after revealing the horrifying true extent of his long-term battle with a gruesome achilles injury that could have resulted in him losing his leg. Although Cazorla's family are still living in London where his children are at school, he has been based at a hotel in Salamanca since July, where he is working daily with Juan Carlos Herraez, the Spain team's physiotherapist.

Arsene Wenger in an interview, spoke about his midfield maestro, saying "If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch, and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it's Santi Cazorla, so you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet". "Everything I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed", he said.

"I am aiming to return in January, it keeps me motivated".

"He is extremely strong and fearless, and behind his smile is a strength you would not guess".

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