Ilkay Gundogan has allayed fears that he has a career threatening back injury called spondylolisthesis and insisted that his current injury is nothing more than a nerve root inflammation.
Spondylolisthesis is the forward displacement of the vertebra which can impact the lower back and hamstrings and if Gundogan had it, his football career may have been cut short.
However, in an interview with Bild, Gundogan was emphatic in his response when asked if his back injury was career threatening. “Clear no!” he proclaimed.
“I have no spondylolisthesis, as I have to read again and again. It is a nerve root inflammation. The complaints can not be turned off like a TV but they are treatable. The Inflammation occurs and then it inflammation disappears.”
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When questioned about his future beyond the summer, he dodged speculation and said all of his focus was on Dortmund.
He added: “Even if you do not believe me, 100 percent of my strength, I dedicate the Dortmund and my goal is soon to be an integral part of the team.
“Everything else to me and all these rumours are just completely irrelevant.
“I have always promised that my first contact will definitely be Borussia Dortmund. And I am true to my word.”
Gundogan had returned to training in January from his back injury but this nerve root set back means he is not likely to return before April and for Manchester United, it is good news that Gundogan doesn’t have spondylolisthesis.
The 23-year-old, whose contract runs out in 2015, is a midfielder considered by many as the perfect fit for United but because of his injury troubles, he has been likened to Owen Hargreaves. However, it seems Gundogan’s current spell on the sidelines was a series of unfortunate events rather than a serious career threatening injury like knee tendonitis.
Prior to this year, the longest Gundogan was out of action was three weeks according to Transfermarkt and for United, it improves the possibility of him moving to Old Trafford as worries about another Hargreaves seem overzealous.