Santi Cazorla has dismissed suggestions he could be forced to retire after offering an extremely positive update on his fitness.
The Spanish midfielder has been sidelined since last October when he sustained an injury to his ankle and Achilles during the Champions League clash with Ludogorets and has since been forced to undergo a series of operations.
There had been rumours that Cazorla was close to retirement after being able to shake off his injury problems.
However, the midfielder has not only rejected those claims, he insists he no longer requires any further operations, and will now start the journey towards full fitness.
“Do not pay attention to that [rumours of retirement],” Cazorla told Onda Cero in Spain.
“Those who want to retire me will get to see me play gain. I will return. I do not know how far I am from returning but I am convinced that I am going to play football again and at my best level.
“I am working on it and hopefully, it can be as soon as possible. I am convinced that I will come back.
“The problem is that they did not know what’s going on. The worst thing is in the head. But I went to Spain, they found a bacteria, and now it seems that problem is already solved.
“It looks like the operations are over. Now I’m very happy, starting the recovery that is was what I wanted.
“I started the recovery two weeks ago. I’m still far away. I do not have strength in my tendon or muscle mass. I need time but I am very happy my recovery in this 15 days.
“I am fine but I do not want to set a return date because if I can’t fulfil it would be a big blow.