UAE and Al Hilal star Omar Abdulrahman to return as 'best player in Gulf', says knee surgeon

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UAE superstar Omar Abdulrahman’s esteemed doctor is convinced he will return as the “best soccer player that we have in the Arabian Gulf” from his serious knee injury.

Abdulrahman, 27, suffered disaster in October when he jarred his right leg when playing for Saudi Professional League champions Al Hilal and ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament [ACL].

This incident required immediate corrective treatment from the world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat – who has also cared for the likes of Xavi, Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres – in Barcelona. Devastatingly, it ruled him out of January 2019’s Asian Cup on home soil and, likely, the rest of 2018/19.

A welcome update was provided, however, on the Crescent’s verified Twitter account late on Wednesday night.

“Yesterday [Tuesday], he flew to Barcelona and he visited us,” stated Dr Cugat, with Amoory sat alongside him. “The knee is without liquid, it has good stability, the muscle is fine, the range of motion…

“We performed an MRI [Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan] and it showed us that there is a very good evolution of the new ACL, [from an operation] that we performed about four months ago.

“For the moment, we are very happy. Everybody is thinking that Omar can come back to play football and he will be the best soccer player that we have in the Arabian Gulf.

“I’m so, so happy. Not only are me, but all the people – the physical therapists and everyone else is happy.”

This positive development will be welcome relief for an attacking midfielder who has a worrying history of knee problems. A second surgery on his ACL caused him to miss the first half of the 2011/12 season, while 2014/15 was also blighted with similar issues.

Riyadh-born Abdulrahman completed a childhood dream last August when he contentiously exited Al Ain – after a decade with the first team that included 11 major trophies, 62 goals, 114 assists and 229 appearances – upon the expiry of his contract and joined Hilal. A one-season deal was rumoured to have been inked, worth Dh60 million.

This followed overtures from a number of sides in France, the Netherlands and Spain.

With the Crescent, the 2016 AFC Player of the Year got one assist and one goal during five SPL starts.

In his absence at the Asian Cup, the host nation produced a number of insipid displays along the way to a harrowing semi-final exit.

Dr Cugat, 68, is currently co-director of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology Hospital Quiron Barcelona, chairman of the board of the Garcia Cugat Foundation for Biomedical Research and president of the Medical Council at the Catalan Mutual Insurance of Football under the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

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