The career of AC Milan striker Ronaldo appears to be in trouble after it was confirmed that he has completely severed the tendon in his left knee. Ronaldo collapsed in the penalty area in agony just minutes after coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Livorno. You can view the incident via this YouTube link

Livorno goalkeeper Marco Amelia revealed to Sky Sport Italia that he had heard a terrible sound when Ronaldo went down. “I heard a horrible sound, like a bang, it was a strange sound. You can’t understand the noise Ronaldo’s knee made, I heard it though”.

Ronaldo was immediately rushed to hospital where tests revealed that he had completely severed the tendon in his left knee. He has flown to Paris where it is expected he will consult Gerard Saillant of the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, the same surgeon who treated him for a similar injury to his right knee in 2000. “He will be operated on this evening or overnight by Eric Rolland, my successor at Pitie-Salpetriere. I will help him,” Saillant told The Associated Press by telephone Thursday. “It appears that it is the same injury that he had previously. If this is the case, an operation is obligatory.”

Rumours are flying that given his history of knee problems, the chances of a full recovery, sufficient to withstand match conditions again, could be almost impossible. If he does attempt a comeback, Ronaldo is looking at least nine months on the sidelines. Ronaldo, who is out of contract at the end of the season, suffered the same injury in his right knee in November 1999 while with Internazionale. He lasted seven minutes on his comeback in April 2000 before taking another 20 months to make a full recovery.

Ronaldo had begun to show flashes of his old form in recent weeks, playing in a Brazilian attacking trio alongside Kaka and young phenom Alexandre Pato. Although I think the odds are not in his favour, here’s hoping ‘Il Fenomeno’ can recover and take a final bow.