Egocentric Swedish superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been warned to forget about playing football in 2017 or risk ending his beautiful career following the injury he sustained in April.
The warning is coming from a former Manchester United injury specialist Matt Radcliffe – who worked at the club during Louis van Gaal’s tenure as manager – who has suggested Ibrahimovic needs to give his body a chance to recover rather than trying to make a comeback that defies medical experts.
The Swedish striker suffered meniscus and cruciate ligament damage in a nasty incident during Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht on April 20th, sparking fears that the 35-year-old’s trophy laden career was about to come to a premature end.
Yet the Swedish superstar has been posting regular images of his recovery to his army of social media followers, with one showing him kicking a ball as he looks to defy medical experts by returning to the field in double quick time.
Ibrahimovic is using United’s medical facilities at their Carrington training ground as he battles back to fitness and there have been suggestions that he will be handed a chance to resume his career with Jose Mourinho’s side when he is fully fit, but Radcliffe tells us that patience is vital in the recover of this kind of injury.
“Zlatan should not even consider trying to play again in 2017 because if he comes back quickly and has a setback at his age, that could be the end of his career,” Radcliffe told Yahoo Sport UK.
“The way he hyper-extended his knee suggests to me that this will not be a straight forward injury. It can heal quicker if you have a straight ligament problem, but there will be some meniscus damage there was well and that needs time to heal.
“The idea that Ibrahimovic could be playing again in November or December seems highly optimistic after a serious injury that only happened in late April, so I would say the idea that he should take his time and make sure he gets the recovery right.
“My advice to Zlatan would be simple. Get yourself fully fit for January and even if he doesn’t get a new club that month, he will be a free agent after that and could sign for any club.
“A fully fit Ibrahimovic would be a hugely attractive option for any club in desperate need of a striker in February and that is when I would expect him to be back to his best physically.”
Radcliffe has plenty of experience of dealing with injuries similar to that suffered by Ibrahimovic during his time at Southampton, United and in his current role working with Middlesbrough, so while Ibrahimovic may have been giving off all the signs that is a preparing for quick return to action, attempting to play again in this calendar year may be a huge risk.