Roma midfielder and the star of Louis van Gaal's dreams, Kevin Strootman, first ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Napoli just over a year ago. He made his welcome return to action in November, though hasn't made one of Rudi García's matchday squads since warming the bench against Lazio in early January. More knee woes are the diagnosis, and according to former Roma physio Mario Brozzi, things don't look great.
He's quoted on RomaToday.it as telling 'La Partita Perfetta' on Gold Tv and ReteSport:
"My feeling is that the operation on Strootman's ligament did not go perfectly. I do not know what happened in his knee, but Cyclops syndrome [which reports last month suggested is Strootman's ailment] is due to a problem in the positioning of the new ligament."
Some quick investigative journalism (read: Googling) from TBB revealed that this injury is caused by the replacement ligament not fitting the femur within which it is supposed to sit, leading to problems in knee mobility. It is supposed to be repaired by surgery. Back to Mr. Brozzi:
"Why was there no intervention on the ligament in the second operation? I do not know. Now, if this is the situation, I don't see an escape route. Does he need another operation? I daren't say."
Obviously, none of this looks very good at all. Spending big money to sign a player whose knee seems to be in ruins wouldn't be a clever strategy whatsoever, and United's attempts to sign Arturo Vidal in the summer may well have been ended by similar concerns. Of course, the alternative interpretation is that Brozzi's quotes are nothing but idle speculation, but this is a man who really ought to know what he's talking about.