Football fans everywhere have united in sympathy for Santi Cazorla.
Arsenal’s cultured midfielder hasn’t played for the Gunners since October 2016 after he caught an infection following surgery on his achilles.
Arsene Wenger and Olivier Giroud have both described Cazorla’s injury as the worst they’ve ever seen.
The 32-year-old has lost eight centimetres of his achilles tendon and nearly had to have his foot amputated because of gangrene.
Doctors told him he would be lucky to walk in the garden with his children again during a particularly bleak diagnosis.
Despite continuous setbacks, the ambidextrous playmaker has never given up hope of a possible return to football.
However, his plan to play for Arsenal as soon as January has been scuppered after he revealed that he required more surgery on his troublesome achilles.
Cazorla tweeted: “Some discomfort in the tendon in the last few days, I have had to undergo surgery.
“It is delaying the date of my return, but I maintain the motivation to enjoy my great passion, football.”
This most recent operation is the ninth bout of surgery Cazorla has had in just over a year.
The Spanish international previously required a skin graft to repair the damage, with a portion of his tattooed forearm now covering his heel.
There is now no estimated date of return and it is gravely unlikely he will ever be able to perform to the same standard we were joyously accustomed to before his injury.
Yet another heartbreaking setback for a gifted and hugely likeable player.
Stay strong, Santi.