Date: 5th November 2009 at 7:34pm
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Cristiano Ronaldo just cannot return to action. The winger is still out with an ankle injury and he’ll now see a specialist in order to cure the problem which saw him miss his side’s last seven games. He was never out for so long when playing for United which begs the question: who is at fault here?

It could be that Real Madrid are just unlucky. Ronaldo had an ankle injury last summer but was back by the middle of September, by the time of the first group game of the Champions League and it could be that his ankle was not 100% and is now paying the price.

Of course one has to consider the possibility that Real Madrid physios are not up to their job: of all European top clubs, Real Madrid usually have the longest injury list, along with Juventus. Ronaldo might be the latest victim of the trend.

But one cannot rule out that Ronaldo, in fact, might have been ruined by United. Well not in terms of his quality of course: he’s a monster of a footballer now, opposed to the skinny, talented but inconsistent teenager he used to be. But consider this: in the last three seasons he played almost every game. He was rarely rested, seldom substituted and had the lumps kicked out of him in every game.

Yet he was never, ever injured, minor things aside. Never missed more than a month and usually he was rushed back quite early. It is possible that he’s ‘burnt out’, in terms of physical fitness. Mentally he looked more than up for it in his first few games for Madrid but it could be that his body can no longer cope with the extreme demands on it.

Fergie was probably aware that Ronaldo wouldn’t spend the rest of his career here, that we would lose him sooner rather than later because he had never used an outfield player (an attacker!) so often like he fielded Ronaldo. He always liked rotating his squad and take the attackers out of the firing line once in a while. Not with Ronaldo.

So it is possible that United are at fault here. It is not a muscle injury though so overexertion might not be the answer. It is possible that there’s no real problem at all, that once he returns he’ll go four seasons before his next serious injury. Time will tell. But right now it looks like we have one more reason why it was right to sell him this summer…