Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not a man who likes being told to do something against his own will, but he would be wise to pay heed to the warnings of his doctor, who has advised him against rushing his comeback from injury.
The legendary Swedish striker has been out of action since April, after rupturing his anterior cruciate against Anderlecht in the Europa League – a competition United went on to win without him. At 32 years of age, the injury looked critical and potentially career-ending.
However, throughout his career, the forward has shown that he is far from the average person in terms of toughness – both physically and mentally. He has taken very good care of his body, and his incredible physique has helped him make a stunningly quick recovery, as he is already training in the gym and kicking a ball around.
United had initially released him, but after seeing the incredible progress he made since the surgery, they quickly moved to offer him a new one-year deal. Many have claimed that he could make a stunningly fast return to the game, and there is nothing Ibra would want more than to get back onto the pitch.
However, he has been strictly warned against doing so by his surgeon, who has told him to take caution and ensure that he is 100 percent ready to play again.
“I have no worry about his injury as it always takes time to fully recover,” Dr Fu, chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told the South China Morning Post.
“In fact, the EPL has just started and I am sure Manchester United would not need the player urgently for any crucial game either in the league or European competitions.
“He is very strong but soccer is still a combative sport. As a doctor, of course I want to see him return as slow as possible, only when he is fully fit for the game. There have been many cases of a player returning prematurely with bad consequences.
“I have treated almost 60 professional players and Ibrahimovic is certainly one of the best and strongest players I have ever operated on. He has a very strong attitude. Even before the operation, he firmly believed he would come back in his soccer career and would not retire just because of the injury.
“When we examined his knee, other than the ligament injuries he sustained, the joint, the muscles and other parts of his knee are all in top-notch condition, just like those of a 15-year-old boy and not a soccer player who has been in fierce physical competition for so many years. His operation went very smoothly.”
United have done fantastically well without Ibrahimovic, though, and have scored an incredible 32 goals in just 10 games in all competitions so far. Romelu Lukaku, signed as his replacement, has made a fabulous start to life at Old Trafford, scoring an incredible 11 goals in 10 games so far. However, Zlatan is expected to be an important figure in the latter half of the season nonetheless, when the fixtures start to pile up.
Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.