Knee surgeon Dr Freddie Fu, the man who operated on Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in April, has urged the Swede to be cautious over making an early return to action at Manchester United.
Ibrahimovic has been working tirelessly to regain strength in his knee after suffering knee ligament damage against Anderlecht and some reports have suggested he could return ahead of schedule.
Indeed, it has been recently claimed that the 35-year-old, who signed a one year deal with the club back in August, would resume full training by the end of October.
But Dr Fu, despite noting Zlatan had one of the strongest knees he has ever seen, advised the striker to be cautious, and only return to action once he is fully fit.
“I have no worry about his injury as it always takes time to fully recover,” he said.
“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.
“And 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 [subjecting his knee to the rigours of] fierce physical competition for so many years.
“His operation went very smoothly.”
Make no mistake, any supporter would prefer to see Zlatan return in December with no chance of a relapse as opposed to him coming back in November and being potentially vulnerable to further problems.
But the 35-year-old would never do this. He has made it clear on several occasions that he will only return when he knows, deep down, that he is indeed ready to assert himself at the highest level.
Zlatan is not the presumptuous type, nor conceited. He is somebody who understands his body and abilities to a microscopic degree, and his return – whenever it may be – promises to be explosive.