Ferguson defends United medics
Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Manchester United's "brilliant" medical staff after Owen Hargreaves hit out at the treatment he received during four injury-plagued seasons at Old Trafford.
Hargreaves, who made an outstanding goalscoring debut for rivals Manchester City on Wednesday night, claimed he felt like a "guinea pig" as he was given several injections which he believes actually hindered his recovery.
But the United manager responded on Friday morning, saying that although he did not know the specifics of Hargreaves' treatment, he had complete faith in the club's doctors. "We're trying to analyse all the stuff he has said and there will be a statement later to address that," Ferguson said.
"As far as I am concerned my medical staff is one of the main reasons why we have been so successful over the last few years. Do you think we would be successful if they were not 100% brilliant? Our doctor and his five physios are fantastic - that is my opinion and that is more important than what anyone else has to say about it."
Hargreaves suffered from persistent tendinitis while at United, resulting in the player undergoing double knee surgery during the 2008-09 season. Following the operations, Hargreaves played just six minutes of first-team football as he battled to regain fitness and was eventually released by United at the end of the last campaign.
The 30-year-old was quoted in several newspapers claiming the medical treatment he received at United did more harm than good.
"I received some injections but my tendon was never the same," he said.
"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."