Owen Hargreaves has claimed he was treated like a “guinea pig” by the Manchester United medical staff while having treatment on knee problems.
The 30-year-old, now with bitter rivals Manchester City, spent four seasons at Old Trafford before his release at the end of last season, underwent double knee surgery three seasons’ again in an effort to cure his persistent tendinitis .
Following the operations however, Hargreaves struggled to regain his fitness and played just six minutes of first-team football
However in an open interview printed in several newspaper Hargreaves has opened the lid on the handling his received by the medial staff at Old Trafford claiming the treatment he received at United did him more harm than good.
Hargreaves, who famously posted YouTube video’s demonstrating his fitness over the summer, is reported as saying “I received some injections but my tendon was never the same, after the injections, I tried to get back on my feet and they said my tendon was good, but it felt like I was made out of glass. That obviously had a huge impact”
“With my tendon injury, I’ve had to be a guinea pig for a lot of these treatments. It’s difficult. All the people there [at United] are lovely and everybody tries their best, but at times you come to a certain point where you need to make a decision.
“They said it would help. Basically, I was left to pick up the pieces, which was incredibly frustrating.
“I wanted to play. Everyone wanted me to play, so it’s not really an option to say, ‘sit it out and rest for six months’. With hindsight it’s a lot easier, but I wish I had not had the injections.”
Hargreaves doesn’t appear to be bitter about his time with the Red Devils and how it ended, with the former Bayern Munich star saying now he hoped his injury nightmare was a thing of the past, although he did acknowledge an awareness of the need to manage himself well in order to avoid more knee problems in the future.
“I had big surgery, so we’re just going to have to be smart, my physical function is very good, it’s tip-top, but sadly, I’m not 18 any more, so I need more recovery and more time in the gym to prepare for each training session.
“It’s just about getting some repetition in my training and trying to find some balance, staying sharp and fit and looking after some of the issues I’ve had.
“United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, with Barcelona and Real Madrid. They have a lot of wonderful people there.
“I’m sad for myself that I wasn’t able to play a bigger part at Old Trafford – I really envisaged it going differently. It didn’t really materialise the way I anticipated, but this is a new chapter in my life.”