Arsene Wenger described forgotten Arsenal man Santi Cazorla's situation as "really, really sad" and revealed that the Spaniard has been forced to "start again from zero" in his recovery.
Cazorla announced last week that he had undergone a ninth operation on the troublesome heel injury that has kept him sidelined for more than a year.
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. What this guy's gone through is unbelievable and now he has to start again". "But unfortunately he has to start again from zero".
"It's really, really sad".
When he was first sidelined past year, Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com examined how crucial his absence could prove given how important Cazorla was to Arsenal's creativity.
However, it could prove to be an injury that ends Cazorla's career at the Emirates Stadium, as his contract with Arsenal expires at the end of the season.
Wenger added: "If all goes well he has to wait until he starts to run and after he starts to run it takes six weeks to come back to training". Wenger said at the time he still hoped the midfielder could return in January, as originally scheduled, but that outlook has now changed. "When he will be able to start to run again, I don't know". "I was hopeful of January, but after this setback certainly now not before February".