Achilles setback leaves Santi Cazorla’s career in the balance


After 9 operations in 14 months, Santi Cazorla’s career has been devastated beyond measure. The gifted Spaniard now faces the prospect of trying to begin his recovery from scratch because it’s believed that the Achilles has ruptured again.

The Surgery, which took place last Monday, was said to be successful and Cazorla is preparing for yet another fight to come back from the injury that has already seen him lose 8 centimeters of the tendon.

The player will routinely have his stitches removed within 10-14 days and an assessment of the surgery will be ongoing but it is already thought that it will take a further seven months, maybe more, before the Achilles can be tested properly and the recovery process can begin in ernest.

It’s thought that the surgical team have informed the player that this is probably the last chance to return to his career and that if there are any further complications or relapses that he would be well advised to retire.

The series of operations can leave the Achilles weakened permanently and could, in extreme cases, lead to difficulty walking properly again, let alone performing to the highest standards of the Premier League.

Cazorla suffered infection at one stage and gangrene set in that could have led to amputation but the gifted midfielder came through and looked to be making a recovery to return in January next year.

This latest development has made his return impossible to predict as his contract extension runs down. A picture of the injury shows just how ravaged the limb is by countless operations and infection, casting doubts over his ability to return to the game as he was before or if at all.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said he was sad about what was happening to Cazorla and that it was the worst injury he’d seen in all his years in the game. He sent the player a text to wish him well and the player replied that he had to start again from zero.

The struggle to recover from injury is obvious and calls for endless of work in the gym , often alone whilst teammates enjoy normality on the training ground. Dr. Misia Gervis, a leading sports psychologist believes that many sportsmen suffer depression as a result of long-term injury and experience behavioural changes.

In an article by Amy Lawrence from The Guardian in June of this year, Gervais found that players in this situation had little or no psychological support.  Many felt isolated and anxious and the majority had sustained some form of psychological damage.

The fear of the injury reoccurring, the fear of inadequacy and the uncertainty of their financial and long term position, especially when entering the final phase of their existing contract. Cazorla is out of contract in June 2018.

Cazorla is an asset to Arsenal football club and he has been nothing short of sensational in his time there. I’m sure every football fan wishes him well in his recovery.

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