When Santi Cazorla fell injured in a Champions League match against Ludogorets last season, nobody predicted that he would still be out 11 months later.
In fact, the injury was initially described by Arsène Wenger as not being that bad, and that Santi could be back in a few weeks.
Although he did make it clear that the timeframe couldn’t be judged exactly as he said in November last year via Metro: “It’s not a big injury, it’s not an injury which will harm his future, but it’s an inflammation at the back of his Achilles, and it’s very difficult on inflammations to give a set time.”
The news didn’t seem that bad. Just over a week later, in December, with no more progress in his recovery, Santi underwent a surgery that would keep him out for “three months”.
In all, the Telegraph report that Cazorla has undergone eight different surgeries, all on his right Achilles tendon. He still hopes to be back soon, but after his latest surgery in July he told the Spanish radio: “I have no strength in my leg. I am just two weeks out of surgery.
“I have no muscle mass in my calf, no strength in the tendon, we are still working on getting my Achilles to function again.”
It seems that however many surgeries Cazorla has, and however much he works, his Achilles continues to have the same problem. Hopefully the latest procedures and rehabilitation work will change this, but for now a return is still that same “three months away” that it’s been for 10 months now.
So we’ll continue to wait and hope, but Santi is confident it’s not the end: “I will be back. Not sure when but I am confident that I will be able to return at my previous level.”