Zlatan Ibrahimovic: AC Milan and Sweden striker out for up to eight months after knee surgery

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out for up to eight months after having knee surgery.

The Swedish international, 40, recently helped Milan to their first Serie A title since 2011 but endured a stop-start campaign because of injuries.

Milan called the procedure on his left knee “a complete success”.

Ibrahimovic, who is out of contract in the summer, had previously expressed a desire to stay with Milan for at least one more season.

But the lengthy spell on the sidelines will now cast doubt over his future.

The former Manchester United and Paris St-Germain frontman returned to the San Siro in 2020 having won the Scudetto during his first spell at Milan.

While he only started 11 league games this term, he chipped in with eight league goals as Milan edged out another of his former clubs, and city rivals Inter, to win the Scudetto.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: AC Milan striker out for eight months after knee surgery
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 40, has had surgery on his knee; the AC Milan striker is not expected to be back in action until midway through the 2022/23 season; Milan recently won their first Serie A title in 11 years

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future is in doubt after he underwent knee surgery which is set to keep him sidelined for eight months.

The 40-year-old, fresh from winning the Serie A title with AC Milan, had a planned procedure on his left knee to repair damage and instability caused by a previous anterior cruciate ligament injury and is expected to be out for at least the remainder of the year.

Ibrahimovic’s current deal at the San Siro expires this summer and he is not expected to be fit until midway through the 2022/23 campaign.

Milan win first Serie A title for 11 years after final-day win
A Milan statement on their official website read: “AC Milan announces that Zlatan Ibrahimovic underwent an operation on his left knee carried out by D Bertrand Sonnery-Cottet, with the club’s medical director Stefano Mazzoni in attendance, at the Hopital Jean Mermoz in Lyon.

“The arthroscopy had been planned for a while to definitively resolve the joint’s instability through the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, with lateral reinforcement and meniscus reparation.

“The operation was a complete success and the prognosis is estimated between seven and eight months.”

The veteran striker scored eight goals for AC Milan this season as they won the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years.

Ibrahimovic said earlier this season that he wants to stay at AC Milan for the rest of his career, admitting he is “scared to stop” playing due to the uncertainty of what comes next after retirement.

“I want to play as long as possible. As long as I have that adrenaline, I will continue,” Ibrahimovic told the Italian talk show Che Tempo Che Fa in December.

“Let’s put pressure on Milan here to give me an extension and I hope to stay at Milan for life. I still have objectives that I can achieve and I want to win another Scudetto.

“I don’t know what will happen after football, so I am a little scared to stop. We’ll see, but I want to continue playing so that I don’t have any regrets.”

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AC Milan announced Zlatan Ibrahimovic underwent surgery on his left knee to address an ACL injury on Wednesday.

The Swedish striker’s recovery is set to take around seven to eight months.

World football insider Fabrizio Romano noted Ibrahimovic’s contract expires this summer and that he’s unsure on whether he will keep playing.

The news comes only three days after Milan won Serie A for the first time since 2010-11.

Ibrahimovic is credited with playing a big role in that success. He had eight goals and two assists in 23 Serie A appearances, and his 0.71 goals per 90 minutes were the highest on the team, per FBref.

The 40-year-old also provided invaluable leadership to a club that had been lost in the wilderness. After placing third in 2012-13, Milan would go eight seasons before qualifying for the Champions League again.

Even before he underwent knee surgery, Ibrahimovic’s age raised obvious questions about his status for the 2022-23 campaign in beyond. In an interview with ESPN’s Gabriele Marcotti in early May—shortly before he suffered the injury—he acknowledged the end might be near.

“I’m in a situation now where I’m close to the goal line … so I’m a little bit panicking,” he said. “Because when it stops, what do you do? I know I can do a lot of things, I will have offers from all over the place. But the adrenaline I get on the field, I will never get that [from] something else.”

If this is indeed it, Ibra capped off his career in a fashion befitting his legendary status.

 

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