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Arsenal boss Wenger on horrific Cazorla injury: He’s suffered but behind his smile is strength

PUBLISHED: 18:32 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:38 03 November 2017

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger (centre) with Santi Cazorla at London Colney before his horrific injury. PA

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger (centre) with Santi Cazorla at London Colney before his horrific injury. PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has responded to the shock news Santi Cazorla could have had his leg amputated after complications following an ankle operation.

Santi Carzorla's ankle - the front page of Marca Santi Carzorla's ankle - the front page of Marca

The former Villarreal midfielder has not played since October 2016 and revealed to Spanish newspaper Marca on Friday he contracted gangrene as doctors warned him he would be lucky to be able to ‘walk with his son in the garden’.

The Spain international has not played for Arsenal since turning out against Bulgarian’s Ludogorets 13 months with Wenger saying: “I have been in touch with Santi throughout his rehab, and it has been extremely tough and testing for him.”

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla before the Community Shield at Wembley, London. PA Arsenal's Santi Cazorla before the Community Shield at Wembley, London. PA

“If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch, and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it’s Santi Cazorla, so you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet.

“He is extremely strong and brave, and behind his smile is a strength you would not guess. He is a very strong character, and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well and we hope to have him back soon.”

Doctors had to perform a skin graft from Santi Cazorla's arm to his ankle. Credit Marca Doctors had to perform a skin graft from Santi Cazorla's arm to his ankle. Credit Marca

Cazorla is in Salamanca taking part in an intensive rehabilitation programme and insists he will be playing again in January.

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