Santi Cazorla says he’ll quit if he can’t make it through pre-season training.

Santi Cazorla has told the press in Spain that he will call it a day if he is unable to make it through pre-season training with Villarreal.

To the heartbreak of Arsenal fans everywhere, the Spaniard left the club this summer when his contract expired. Although he would most likely have gotten a new contract had Arsene Wenger still been at the club, the new regime in place has shown there is no room for sentimentality and he was allowed to leave with the club’s blessing.

Cazorla underwent a series of tests over the weekend to ensure he was fit and ready for the start of Villarreal’s pre-season.

He passed and started training on Monday with his new team.

via Villarreal

“I will not deceive anyone, if I see that I can not give up, I leave it,” Cazorla told AS.

Although Google translate has done its thing with Cazorla’s quote, the intention is quite clear – if he can’t make it through pre-season training, he will call it a day.

Remarkable to get this far

via Superdeporte

To be fair to the Spaniard, I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who believed he could make it this far after what he went through trying to correct a troublesome Achilles problem.

Unfortunately, post-surgical complications involving a wound that would not heal, left Cazorla facing the possibility of losing his foot and another nine surgeries to correct the problem.

Losing a chunk of his Achilles, we spoke to a leading sports surgeon about Cazorla’s chances of returning to the top level. He was not optimistic.

“Given the multiple surgeries required, the significance of the subsequent injury and the level at which he’s is required to perform at, it’s hard not to be pessimistic about his chances of returning to an elite level of professional sport,” said Mr James Walsh, who was at pains to stress he has not treated Cazorla and was merely commenting on the information made publicly available.

Mr. James Walsh, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

“A recent study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine quoted a 60% chance of return to professional sport following repair and these would have been far less significant injuries. In a basketball setting, athletes are far less likely to be accidentally kicked in the calf during a game.

“The loss of this much Achilles tendon and the likely reconstruction required would make it unlikely – though of course not impossible – that a player would be able to return to elite level football.”

He added: “Overall, this is a highly unusual and unfortunate complication and it shows that despite access to the best surgical and rehabilitation care, along with a compliant, highly motivated and physically fit patient, rare and severe complications can occur.

“The odds would seem to be against him, but never say never…”

Never say never indeed…