The footballing gods are fickle. One month ago, a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace sent Newcastle United to the lofty heights of sixth in the Premier League table, in front of both Arsenal and Liverpool. Now, after being held scoreless for 180 minutes in defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth and falling to 11th, the Toon travel to Old Trafford to play a Manchester United side welcoming back both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to the side.
A lot of things can go wrong in a soccer match. Aside from the pain and suffering that accompanies losing, one’s physical well-being is constantly at risk. Injury is a part of the game, but typically it’s muscle strains, ligament tears and the occasional broken bone or concussion. Mariano Bittolo suffered an injury far more painful than anything one expects to suffer on the pitch. It may have been the most painful injury of all time.
There’s still no timetable on Borussia Dortmund attacker Marco Reus’s return to action following a ruptured cruciate ligament in last season’s DFB Pokal final, but the German international has revealed the depths of his desperation following the latest injury setback in a seemingly cursed career.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic tore his ACL in April and is still recovering. It’s unlikely he’ll return in 2017, though Manchester United included him on its Champions League group stage roster. More than likely he’ll be back in 2018 and he’ll probably score a few golazos along the way.
Importantly for the Manchester United striker in his recovery is his strength and overall health. According to Dr. Freddie Fu Ho-keung, the surgeon who performed Ibrahimovic’s knee surgery, the 35-year-old has the knees of a 15-year-old boy.
Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero was involved in a car accident on Thursday night in Amsterdam while riding in a taxi en route to the airport following a concert by Colombian singer Maluma.