Santi Cazorla is now out of the field for two years and he has to undergo 8 surgeries in his ankle because of an infection which almost has seen him lose his foot. But still he is hoping for a comeback for Arsenal in January. A true warrior with extreme will power believes that he could return to field to enjoy playing football.
On 13th September,2013 Cazorla had to be withdrawn from the field due to an ankle injury during a Spain vs Chile friendly match in Geneva. This injury had caused a fissure in his bone. He continued to play with the injury.
“The first time I could endure the pain a little better,” he said.
“If I got warm I could play, but at half-time, as soon as I cooled down a bit, I would cry.”, he added.
The player had suffered an injury against Ludogorets in the Champions League last season and developed Achilles tendonitis in his right ankle.
On December 5, 2015, he had to undergo a surgery due to a ruptured external ligament in his left knee, but his ankle problems persisted.
The doctors of England was not able to give him confidence to come back in the field again.
“They [the doctors] told me, if you get to walk again with your son in the garden, be satisfied.”, Cazorla said in an interview.
One year after the operation on the knee, he had to undergo another operation due to a tendon injury in the plantar area of the right foot.
After a month the stitches were opened but the wound did not heal and it had almost ended the career of Santi Cazorla.
“They would give me stitches and I’d begin to cycle after two weeks and the stitches would open and there’d be liquid.” , the Spanish International told.
“The medical professionals told me it was OK, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected.”, Cazorla told in an interview.
When the doctors of England failed to show him any hope he went to Dr. Mikel Sanchez. Dr. Sanchez tried to operate his leg but the scene he saw during the operation was unbelievable.
“He saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and it had eaten the Achilles tendon. There was eight centimetres of it missing!”, Cazorla told.
“Since November I have had complications. There was bacteria in the operating room and I suffered an infection in a bone. The scar did not close and I had a skin graft.”
“I had several operations. I was in hospital several times for 10 days & had to have antibiotics through a drip for the bacteria.”
He had undergone 8 surgeries and the last one happened just 2 days ago and the player is now dreaming for making a memorable comeback.
But the journey was not not very easy for Santi Cazorla. He said that he received messages almost every day from compatriots Andres Iniesta, David Silva and David Villa.
“Now I realise who is who. Each day I get a message from [Andres] Iniesta, [David] Silva & [David] Villa.”
“Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed,” said Cazorla, who has won the European Championship twice and two FA Cups.
The Arsenal team management also kept faith in him.
“They (Arsenal) were very good to me, they renewed me before my operation, the manager talked to me and gave me peace of mind. It’s been a difficult season, since I have not played since November.”, Cazorla told.
Cazorla sounded very emotional for his family.
“My family are still in London because my children began school there. Being here alone without them is the hardest thing.”
Also he had a tattoo where his daughter’s name was written. “I don’t know how to fix my arm tattoo now but maybe I’ll leave it like that because it’s got more meaning now than ever.” , he said.
Arsene Wenger hailed the spirit of the warrior like Santi Cazorla and encouraged him for coming back in the field soon for Arsenal.
“You know he suffers a lot not to be out there [on the pitch] with the ball at his feet.”
“Everyone at Arsenal wishes him well & we hope to have him back soon.”
“He is extremely strong & brave, behind his smile is a strength you would not guess. He is a very strong character.”
“If there’s one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch & comes in with a smile every day, it’s Cazorla.”
“I have been in touch with Santi throughout his rehab & it has been extremely tough & testing for him.” , Wenger told.
Santi Cazorla also have belief in himself and he is confident enough to make a comeback in the field on January in Arsenal colours.
“Nobody believed in me but I did and I still do. I won’t give those who don’t want me to play again that pleasure. I will return!”
“I’m not registered to play until January but I am going to return by then.” , the player stated.
We also hope that Santi Cazorla will return to field as early as possible completing his rehab and will again sooth the eyes of the Emirates crowd with his skills.