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

Images: Shocking extent of Arsenal star's injury, “be satisfied… if you get to walk again”

In an interview, Cazorla said "I don't have a spot until January but my intention is to return by then".

Cazorla told Marca, "The doctor told me if I was able to walk with my kid on the garden, I should be thankful".

The Spanish midfielder has not played for Arsenal since October previous year and has had to undergo multiple operations, resulting in the loss of eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle.

Santi Cazorla hasn't made an appearance for Arsenal in over a year but he came close to never walking again due to a horrific Achilles injury that led to eight operations on his ankle.

Marca also included the picture of his foot on their front page.

Cazorla required a skin graft to help fix the damage, with a part of his tattooed forearm now covering his Achilles, and also contracted a potentially life-threatening infection.

There were fears that Cazorla would need to have his foot amputated.

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"The problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected", he told Marca.

"He noted that I had a bad infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone which ate into the Achilles tendon, there was eight centimetres missing".

"I'm still cautious because of the pain and the tough times but I still trust in myself but you have to bare in mind this injury has never been as straightforward as many thought".

A Euro 2008 and 2012 victor with Spain, Cazorla says Arsenal and his former Spain national teammates have been very supportive. 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.

"Almost every day I receive a message from Iniesta, Silva and Villa".

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

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