Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Injury Threatening Solskjaer's Career

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Injury Threatening Solskjaer's Career

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Stone

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's career is hanging in the balance after it was announced the popular Manchester United striker is likely to miss the whole of the season with a knee injury.

It is the second season in succession Solskjaer has been ravaged by the same problem and, apart from puncturing a massive hole in Sir Alex Ferguson's striking plans for the new campaign, it raises the possibility Solskjaer will never play again.

The man who scored United's injury-time winner in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich is in the final year of his current contract and there was some doubt over whether he would be offered an extension even before the sad news.

"Ole underwent an arthroscopy in Gothenburg yesterday," said a Reds spokesman. "This unfortunately confirmed persistent damage to the articular cartilage of his right knee.

"He will undergo further treatment, but it is likely that Ole will miss the whole of this season."

The 31-year-old missed five months of last season recuperating from an operation to cure the same problem.

But he returned believing his injury nightmare was over.

Yet even towards the back end of the campaign there were murmurings all was not well with the Norwegian, although the speculation was flatly denied by Ferguson, if not by Solskjaer who was strangely non-committal on the issue.

When he came on as a second-half substitute in the FA Cup final win over Millwall in May, it seemed Solskjaer's recovery was virtually complete.

Instead, the man Ferguson had originally earmarked to fill the right-sided midfield slot vacated by David Beckham felt more twinges of pain during pre-season training. He pulled out of last month's US tour on the eve of departure and headed for Sweden for further tests, the outcome of which have devastated the Reds camp. …

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