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Santi Cazorla injury is worst I’ve seen says Arsenal boss Wenger

PUBLISHED: 15:58 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:58 16 November 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney (pic Yui Mok/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney (pic Yui Mok/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla’s ankle injury is by far the “worst” he’s encountered during his long managerial career.

Santi Cazorla in happier times. Picture Danny LooSanti Cazorla in happier times. Picture Danny Loo

Cazorla hasn’t featured for the team for 13 months since he picked up an achilles issue during their 6-0 Champions League win over Ludogorets.

The popular Spainiard revealed doctors told him he if he could walk with his son in the garden he should be happy let alone playing for Arsenal again after his horrific experience following complications after an operation on his ankle following the problem.

The 32-year-old then contracted gangrene after the operation and revealed to Spanish newspaper Marca he could have had his foot amputated.

Speaking before the North London derby Wenger said: “It is the worst injury.

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

“It started with a pain in the achilles and it has gone from worse to worse.

“I must say I know how much Santi loves to play football and loves to be out there every day and I feel very sorry for what happened to him, because it is unbelievable.

“I saw him one month ago, he was here, and I told him to prepare as well as he can.”

“He has competent medical people around him and he tries to practise, but I have not spoken to him recently but I hope he comes back. I left him out of the squad, hoping he would be available in January.”

Spanish newspaper Marca broke the story about how severe Cazorla's injury was Spanish newspaper Marca broke the story about how severe Cazorla's injury was

When Wenger was pressed on if Cazorla would ever play again, the Frenchman replied: “Let’s not talk about that, but I hope you are wrong.”

The former Villarreal midfielder lost eight centimetres of his achilles tendon and there are real doubts he will ever play at the top level again.

Speaking earlier this month the Spanish international said the infection had eaten the Achilles tendon on his right leg and that doctors feared the worst.

He said: “I always thought I could play again. I never thought I’d have to quit – but the doctors told me: ‘If you manage to get back to walking with your son in the garden you should settle for that.

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

“‘I said: ‘Play with my son?’ I don’t have any football to play?’ I’d never given it that much importance [to be able to play football again].

Cazorla was then given antibiotics but there was a real danger he could have had his ankle or even his leg amputated if the infection got worse because of a blood infection.

His last operation, days after the FA Cup Final in May saw doctors grafting skin from his left arm to his right ankle.

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