Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has delivered a sad update on the injury status of fan favourite Santi Cazorla, explaining that the player has informed him he will have to 'start again from zero' on the road to recovery after recently undergoing a ninth surgery on his troublesome Achilles.
Cazorla, who hasn't played for almost 14 months because of his injury hell, revealed to fans via Twitter last month that he had needed to go under the surgeon's knife yet again - the Spaniard has already endured a skin graft in an attempt to help the wound on his ankle heal.
Speaking about Cazorla this week, Wenger admitted he is unsure when the player will even be able to run again, let alone resume training or finally get back on the pitch.
"I sent him a message because he had a new surgery and wished him well," the Gunners boss is quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard.
Debido a unas molestias en el tendón que llevaba arrastrando los ultimos dias, he tenido que volver a pasar por el quirofano. Toca retrasar la fecha de vuelta a los terrenos de juego, mantengo la ilusión y motivación para volver a disfrutar de mi gran pasión, el futbol.#football pic.twitter.com/HpYYRd9VyQ— Santi Cazorla (@19SCazorla) November 29, 2017
"He answered 'look I have to start again, from zero basically' and it is very sad, honestly. What he has gone through this guy is unbelievable. We speak about players being happy or not happy, that is a real pain because it is really, really sad but unfortunately he has to start again from zero.
"That means if all goes well he has to wait until he can run and after when he starts to run it will be at least six weeks to come back to training. When he will be able to run again I don't know."
Arsenal's season without the popular Cazorla continues on Thursday night when they host Belarusian champions BATE Borisov in the final matchday of the Europa League group stage. The Gunners have already secured top spot in the group.