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Carzola told to forget playing football by the doctors in England and his remarkable journey to returning to the game.

“If you manage to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied”

Arsenal diminutive mercurial midfielder Santi Cazorla return to fitness has seen a long and tortuous journey.

In an interview with MARCA  the midfielder disclosed the extent of the damages to his ankle and surgeries undergone to repair it, the unthinkable measures considered by doctors and an emotional skin graft that include the transfer of skin from his arm that bears the tattoo of his daughter to his ankle.

Santi Cazorla has been sidelined by an ankle injury since last season, featuring in only eight games and scoring two goals. Manager Arsene Wenger delivers what can be seen as a good news late in October that the player will return in the new year, starting with reserve action.




Santi Cazorla’s ankle. Image Courtesy of Marca/Paolo Garcia


  • Damaged part of the calcaneum 

  • Damaged Achilles tendon with 8cm missing from the tendon

  • The frequently pathological opening of surgical site after stitches was removed, resulting in gangrenous bacteria infected wound.

  • Bone oedema resulting in the slowing of healing.


Santi Cazorla prognosis was poor from the start because of the Achilles tendon destruction, he believed the doctors in England were not helpful enough, initially been told to continue playing and then later told to be satisfied with just been able to walk and forget about playing.

“If you manage to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied”

This suggestion was in other words for him to forget about his career as a footballer and focus on being able to walk.




Courtesy of Marca


Carzola underwent several surgeries, including reconstruction of the tendon and then finally a skin graft to cover the wound, the skin was taken from his arm, where he had the tattoo of his daughter. Although the discovery of aggressive bacteria infection and inflamed bone slow things down, his recovery and responses to treatments are now on track.

Cazorla has a contract until the end of the season, meaning a January return to the reserve team to get his fitness before returning to the senior side can provide a much-needed creativity in an increasingly busy schedule, particularly if Arsenal continue to advance in the Europa League.



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  1. BREAKING NEWS: Santi Cazorla Injury Update – The Analysts

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