Santi Cazorla says he receives daily messages from his compatriots David Villa, Andres Iniesta and David Silva, as he recovers from a severe ankle injury.
The Arsenal midfielder – who’s undergone a gruelling eight operations in a year – has revealed the extent of his injury problems in a tell-all interview with Madrid-based news outlet Marca.
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The Spain international, who hasn’t played since October 2016, claims doctors told him he should be “satisfied” to simply be able to walk again, after he contracted gangrene following an operation.
After undergoing a skin graft from his left arm, the 32-year-old hopes to return to action again in the New Year.
Cazorla said: “I don’t have a spot until January, but my intention is to return by then.
“I never listened to those that said that I would only be able to play football with my children, I have plenty of football left in me.”
The former Malaga playmaker shared a photograph of his right ankle with the Madrid-based newspaper, which clearly shows the skin graft required to cover the wound.
And as you can see, a part his tattoo from his arm is now on his foot.
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Cazorla added: “The doctor saw that I had a tremendous infection, that had damaged part of the calcaneum bone, eaten the Achilles tendon, there were eight centimetres missing!”
Despite the hardship of his horrific injury, Cazorla says his Arsenal and former Spain teammates have been supportive throughout.
He said: “Arsenal had a nice touch when they extended my contract until June 2018 when I got injured.
“Each day I get a message from [Barcelona’s Andres] Iniesta, [Manchester City’s David] Silva and [New York FC’s David] Villa.”
Ah, lovely stuff.