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Zlatan Ibrahimović is unlikely to play again this season

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With early reports pointing to an ACL tear, the Swede may have played his last game for United

Manchester United v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With the last kick of the game in normal time of Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht, Zlatan Ibrahimović went down in agony. Ibrahimović is nearly impossible to knock down, and even with United desperately seeking a winner, it was clear that this was no cheap ploy to con the referee into awarding a penalty. He was clutching his knee, and the ugly replays confirmed the severity of the injury.

Now, it appears that injury will cost Ibrahimović the rest of the season, and - with a contract extension yet to be agreed - he may have played his last game for United.

Manchester United v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg
Damn it.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Zlatan had his worst game in a United shirt yesterday, and his form has noticeably dipped lately. Even still, his direct involvement in goals this season - to the tune of 28 goals and 9 assists - far outstrip any of his teammates. With a brutal league run in on the horizon, and a tricky Europa League semi-final sandwiched between trips to Arsenal and Tottenham, losing a player of Ibrahimović’s calibre is a serious blow to United’s hopes to securing a successful end to the season.

For the player, if the injury is as bad as feared (Di Marzio is reporting both a torn ACL and PCL) it is a particularly cruel twist of fate. Ibrahimović is not just the premier striker of his generation, but he’s also a player that has been remarkably durable throughout his illustrious career. To suffer an injury like this that can potentially rob him of the chance to end his top-flight career on his own terms just seems unfair.

The club have yet to confirm the extent of the injury, so we will update as more details emerge.