Zlatan Ibrahimovic's career in doubt after serious knee surgery

AC Milan star's contract is up in the summer

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future is in doubt after he had knee surgery that could keep him out of action for the rest of 2022.

The 40-year-old, fresh from winning the Serie A title with AC Milan, had an operation on his left knee to repair damage and instability caused by a previous anterior cruciate ligament injury and is expected to be out for up to eight months.

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.

A Milan statement read: “AC Milan announces that Zlatan Ibrahimovic underwent an operation on his left knee carried out by Dr 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.

But he has struggled with a knee injury in recent months, last playing the full 90 minutes for the Italian side in January.

After Milan clinched its first Serie A title since 2011 on Sunday, Ibrahimovic said he would only continue playing if he felt well and added that it had been a difficult few months for him.

Ibrahimovic, Sweden's top scorer with 62 goals, was not named in the national team squad for next month's Uefa Nations League matches.

He had initially retired from the Swedish team after Euro 2016, but returned for their World Cup qualifiers in 2021.

Updated: May 25, 2022, 3:39 PM