Zlatan Ibrahimovic has remarkably claimed that he played the past six months without an ACL in his left knee.
It was confirmed this week that the 40-year-old striker, who recently lifted the Scudetto with AC Milan after coming on in their 3-0 win over Sassuolo, will be sidelined 'for the next seven to eight months' after undergoing knee surgery.
And with the experienced Ibrahimovic being out of contract with Milan next month, fans fear this could be the end of his trophy-laden career in football. But then again, this is Zlatan.
Back in 2016, Ibrahimovic was ruled out for nine months with significant knee ligament damage after a nasty fall against Anderlecht while playing for Manchester United.
Many doubted whether he would return to football after such a horrific injury but the ever-optimistic Swede was convinced he would come back stronger than ever. And he did just that.
In fact, such was his incredible recovery, doctors at the University of Pittsburgh School are reportedly keen on performing research on his physique after he retires.
"Zlatan is so strong that the doctor wants him back after his career to research on him," Ibrahimovic's former agent Mino Raiola said in 2019. "They work on the world's best research institutions for the knees and ligaments."
Ibrahimovic will once again have to overcome the odds following another serious injury. So how serious has it been in the past six months?
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain striker opened up about his situation on social media earlier.
"For the past six months I played without an ACL in my left knee," he explained.
"Swollen knee for six months. I was only able to train with the team 10 times in the last six months. Took more than 20 injections in six months. Emptied the knee once a week for six months. Painkillers every day for six months. Barely slept for six months because of the pain.
"I've never suffered so much on and off the pitch," he added. "I made something impossible to something possible. In my mind I had only one objective, to make my teammates and coach champions of Italy because I made them a promise.
"Today I have a new ACL and another trophy."
If anybody can overcome such an injury, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Instagram - @iamzlatanibrahimovic
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