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Santi Cazorla Underwent 8th Surgery on Achilles Injury, out at Least 5 Months

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla expects to be sidelined for another five months after undergoing an eighth surgery since suffering an Achilles injury last October.

The popular Spaniard told Cadena Ser (via The Independent's Ed Malyon) that the 2016-17 season was "the worst season of [his] career," but he said he still has a desire to play football. 

Cazorla, 32, also said there were times in the recent campaign when he considered hanging up his boots:

"You feel like throwing in the towel but my desire to play football is above everything. I haven't been given a timeframe [to return to action]. It's very difficult to put a date, but I don't think it will be before five months.

"It's been since October that I last played. I've undergone eight surgeries, the last one yesterday [Monday]. I hope that things go better.

"I've had complications since November. I got a bacterial infection in surgery, my bone got infected, the wound would not close and I had a graft done.

"I remember I had a bad spell with a back problem [while with Villarreal in 2010] but this is worse because it [healing] doesn't depend on me. Right now I can't think about the future, I just want to return to play."

Cazorla's last appearance for the Gunners was against Ludogorets in the UEFA Champions League group stage on October 19, 2016.

Arsenal were second in the Premier League table at the time but ended up finishing the season fifth, outside the Champions League spots for the first time in 20 years.

Though the north London outfit's relatively poor campaign cannot completely be put down to the absence of Cazorla, he has unquestionably been missed.

As a playmaker, he is a valuable part of manager Arsene Wenger's squad, and Arsenal are a better team when Cazorla plays, per Goal's Chris Wheatley.

The Gunners have got used to being without him of late and, unfortunately, it now seems Cazorla will not return until early winter at best.