Arsene Wenger says the injury that has kept Santi Cazorla sidelined since September last year is the worst he’s known in his entire time in football.
The Spanish midfielder revealed recently that he’s undergone eight operations to heal his Achilles and that doctors feared they may have to amputate his foot following a particularly aggressive infection.
Asked about Santi’s situated ahead of Saturday’s North London derby, Wenger couldn’t hide his sadness at the turn of events.
“It is [the worst injury I’ve seen]. Honestly, it is. Yes. It is the worst injury I’ve know, starting with a little pain on the Achilles. It’s gone worse to worse.
“I must say, I know how much Santi Cazorla loves to play football and loves to be out there every day. I feel really sorry for what happened to him because it’s unbelievable.
“I wish [that he’ll be back in January]. The last time I saw him was one month ago, he came here. I told him to prepare as well as he can, he has competent medical people around him, and to try to practise.
“I have not spoken to him recently but I hope he comes back. I left him out of the squad hoping he’d be available in January, that was my target.”
In his interview with Marca, Cazorla spoke about the skin grafts, taken from his arm, that have been used on his foot. He also revealed that doctors warned him that his career could be over. It’s something that Wenger refused to countenance.
“Let’s not talk about that,” said the boss. “But I hope that you are wrong.”
So do we.