Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out of action for seven to eight months after the veteran striker underwent successful knee surgery, new Serie A champions AC Milan announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, Milan said that the 40-year-old striker went under the knife in the French city of Lyon on Wednesday, an operation which the club said had been scheduled some time ago.
Ibrahimovic has missed large chunks of the past season with injuries, Milan relying on France forward Olivier Giroud in their charge to a first league title in 11 years.
Responding to the news of his latest lengthy lay off, Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he played through the pain of a serious knee injury to help AC Milan win their first Serie A title for 11 years.
“I have never suffered so much on and off the pitch. Barely slept for six months because of the pain,” Ibrahimovic wrote on Instagram.
Milan have called the procedure on his left knee “a complete success”.
Ibrahimovic, who is out of contract in the summer, has expressed a desire to stay with the club for at least one more season.
And while he endured a stop-start campaign because of injuries, he contributed eight league goals as Milan edged out another of his former clubs, and city rivals, Inter to win the Scudetto.
“I was only able to train with the team 10 times in the last six months,” wrote Ibrahimovic.
“For the last six months I played without an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] in my left knee. Took more than 20 injections in six months. Emptied the knee once a week for six months. Painkillers every day for six months.
“I made something impossible to something possible. In my mind I had only one objective, to make my team-mates and coach champions of Italy because I made them a promise. Today I have a new ACL and another trophy.”
The former Manchester United and Paris St-Germain frontman returned to the San Siro in 2020 having also won a league title during his first spell at Milan.
After Sunday’s 3-0 win at Sassuolo which decided the title in Milan’s favour, Swede Ibrahimovic said he had to see how he was physically before he decided whether to carry on playing.
He had already missed Euro 2020 after surgery on his left knee last year before an Achilles tendon problem which cost him his starting position up front for Milan.