Santi Cazorla says he is hoping to return to the Arsenal team by January after almost losing his foot because of serious infection.
The 32-year-old Spain forward has not played for over a year and he was once told by a doctor that he would be lucky to walk again after repeated problems in his ankle.
The Spanish international contracted a serious blood infection during the treatment process, which had it not been treated successfully with anti-biotics, may have resulted in the loss of his foot.
Cazorla lost eight centimetres of his Achilles tendon and has undergone eight rounds of surgery since the issues and pain first started to occur in 2013.
“If you manage to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied, they told me,” Cazorla said in an interview with Spanish publication Marca.
“At that time I was still playing, they told me it was okay, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected. In pictures, I can see the tendon.
“(The latest doctor) he saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and ate the Achilles tendon. I had eight centimetres missing.
Cazorla last played for Arsenal in a 6-0 win over Ludogorets in October 2016 but signed a new contract earlier this year that keeps him with the Gunners until June next year.
The Spaniard signed for the club in 2012 and has scored 25 Premier League goals in over 100 appearances.