LONDON: Manchester United’s Roy Keane said he may need a hip-replacement operation by the time he is 45 and considered retirement from football when his surgeon told him the extent of the damage, the Sunday Times reported.
The 31-year-old, tough-tackling midfielder had a hip operation by specialist Richard Villar on Sept 3 last year.
“There was a lot more damage than expected,” Keane told the newspaper. “His exact words were ‘I will be glad if you can get back playing, full stop.’ We discussed the possibility of my having to retire.
“He talked about the likelyhood of a hip replacement at a very young age and asked me about life after football.”
Keane went on to explain the hip problems first came to light in September 2001 and that he needed anti-inflammatory injections to get through games.
“The doctor’s advice was always ‘It’s not good to be doing this every week,’ but I wanted to play. It was my decision to have the injections.”
The Voltarol injections were damaging his stomach, Keane added, meaning he was in so much pain he was not able to train for two days following the injections.
“If you’re not training, your performance is affected. That’s the cycle,” he said.
Keane, sent home from last year’s World Cup Finals by Republic of Ireland coach Mick McCarthy after a high-profile bust-up, received criticism after his decision earlier this week to retire from international football.
Keane said his decision to focus on club football was his alone.
“This wasn’t the manager or the medical people at the club telling me what to do. Don’t think for a second this wasn’t my decision. It was my decision. Roy Keane doing what is best for Roy Keane.”
He added he had been upset by the reaction. “I feel let down by what has happened in Ireland. I was angry for two days. I’ve cooled off a bit, but there’s a lot of negative things over there. People need to remember the bloody good things when I played for Ireland.”
The rugged Irishman has rarely been out of the spotlight this season.
Keane had a five-match ban and an unprecedented fine of £150,000 from the English FA for admitting in his recent autobiography that a wild tackle on Norwegian midfielder Alf Inge Haaland in April 2001 was motivated by a desire for revenge for a previous clash between the two players. – AFP