Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger fears Santi Cazorla’s latest surgery could spell the end of his Gunners career.
The Spanish playmaker, 33, has not played since an Achilles injury 14 months ago and is out of contract in the summer.
January comeback plans were shelved after a NINTH op last week.
Wenger said: “I sent a message to Santi to wish him well after the surgery and he said, ‘Look, I have to start again from zero’.
“It is very sad. What this guy’s gone through is unbelievable and now he has to start again.
“This is a real pain, it’s terrible news — I was hopeful that he’d come back in January but that was before this setback.
“He has to wait until he can run again, after that it will be at least another six weeks.
“I just hope that he will play at some stage this season.”
Wenger claimed last month that Cazorla’s injury is the worst he has ever seen.
The two-time European Championship winner almost has his foot amputated after contracting a potentially life-threatening infection.
Cazorla required a skin graft from his left arm, where he now has a portion of his forearm tattoo by his right foot.
Since signing from Malaga in 2012, the fan favourite has netted 29 goals in 180 games, helping the Gunners to two FA Cup’s.