Owen Hargreaves' future as a professional footballer is in jeopardy after he was ruled out for the rest of the season because of his persistent problems with tendinitis. Hargreaves underwent surgery on his right knee yesterday and will also need a successful operation on his left knee if his career is to progress beyond the age of 27.

Hargreaves has started only two matches this season and, in total, he has been restricted to 25 starts for United since his £18m move from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2007, although one of those was the Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow. The problem first surfaced when Hargreaves was playing in the Bundesliga and, since joining United, he has barely been able to put together three consecutive games without needing treatment.

The England international, who has won 42 caps, has seen various specialists throughout Europe but with limited success and United's medical staff eventually decided that he should go to Vail, Colorado, to see the world-renowned knee surgeon Richard Steadman.

"We gave him injections to begin with but, when that didn't clear it up, we sent him to see people in London and Sweden and, again, we never really got to the bottom of the problem," Sir Alex Ferguson explained before last night's 1-0 Carling Cup win over Queens Park Rangers. "We needed to speed it up, which is why we decided to send him to the best man possible. It's been really difficult for the lad, being out so long. But what we are trying to do is put this to bed and get him back as a fit player next season. The operation went well although, of course, we won't know the exact circumstances until we've got him back with us."

The loss of his most tenacious mid-fielder is not a new problem for Ferguson but it still represents a considerable setback to the United manager. The same applies to England's head coach, Fabio Capello, who has rarely been able to call on Hargreaves since taking charge of the national team's qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Guardian


Your Ad Here

Recent Entries

The Glorious of Footy Images

The Glorious of Footy Videos

Glorious Links