Owen Hargreaves says Manchester United treated him like a 'guinea pig'

Calum

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Dec 22, 2009
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  • Owen Hargreaves says Manchester United treated him like a 'guinea pig'
  • Manchester City midfielder says injections made injuries worse
Owen Hargreaves has claimed Manchester United put his career on the line by administering the wrong treatment for his chronic injury problems and making a series of mistakes that left him fearing he may never play football again.

Speaking for the first time about his "guinea pig" treatment at Old Trafford, Hargreaves claimed the club's medical staff decided he needed a course of injections for his knee injury. There is no evidence whatsoever that Hargreaves was misdiagnosed or improperly treated, but the midfielder believes the treatment led to his condition deteriorating, leaving him barely able to walk and with a knee that felt "like I was made out of glass".

He claims various specialists had subsequently told him United had prescribed the wrong treatment, adding that his injury "got significantly worse through the injections". A knee specialist later diagnosed an extreme form of tendinitis that led to major surgery and put him out of the game for effectively three years.

"I've had to be a guinea pig for a lot of these treatments," said Hargreaves. "But when you're left to try to make something of a difficult situation, it's not really an option to say: 'Let's sit it out and rest for six months.'"

Hargreaves, now of Manchester City, talked of being put "in a **** position" before making the remarkable claim that the United manager Sir Alex Ferguson selected him for his comeback match against Wolverhampton Wanderers last November even though the midfielder had told the club he was injured.

"I started that game with two muscle injuries but I should never have been in that position to begin with. I was just going to try to get through 45 minutes because that would have been a start. But I didn't even last five. I wasn't surprised. I'd said to them that I had a hamstring problem, which I obviously did. I said: 'I think I've got a bit of a problem here.' I was surprised it didn't go in the warm-up, to be completely honest.

"People at times must look at it from a distance and say: '****, he's made out of glass.' But I don't know many people in the world who could do any sporting event with two muscle tears."

Hargreaves said he felt so unfit he knew he could not even run at full pace. "There were 70,000 people there and, if I had walked away from the game, it would have looked like I didn't want to play. I thought: 'I'll try to play, I just won't sprint.' I know it sounds comical."

United are aware of the allegations but have declined to comment. Ferguson will be asked for his response when he holds his weekly press conference at the Carrington training ground on Friday.

Hargreaves made his City debut in their 2-0 defeat of Birmingham City in the Carling Cup on Wednesday, scoring the opening goal. The 30-year-old believes he can play 40 times this season but feels the deterioration in his knees can be directly linked to the course of injections. "I came back a week early for pre-season to get it done. They said I would be fit for the start of pre-season but, after that, I never got back on my feet. My tendon was never the same. They said my tendon was good, but it felt like I was made out of glass."

Asked if he felt United had mishandled the situation, he replied: "You'd have to ask them. There were a few crucial points. We treated it and it got significantly worse through the injections. That obviously had a huge impact. Basically, I was left to pick up the pieces, which was incredibly frustrating.

"They said it [the injections] would help and that I wouldn't have any side effects. That obviously wasn't the case and if I'd known I could have had a reaction like that I wouldn't have done it. It was a **** position to be in, to be honest. I'm not a guy who wants to ***** and complain. I was trying to make the most of it, but it deteriorated over the season and we had to do these injections. My knee, my tendon, was never the same."

United eventually decided not to renew his contract when it expired at the end of last season and, after 39 appearances in four years at the club, Hargreaves moved to City on a free transfer in August.

The midfielder said "a change of scenery, sadly enough, was essential" for his rehabilitation. He added: "The guys here [City's medical staff] have been great so far. I've been here three weeks and you can already see the difference. I knew it was all there. It was just a matter of doing things right."

Owen Hargreaves says Manchester United treated him like a 'guinea pig' | Football | The Guardian
Intresting, specially the bold part. Would Fergie really play him with two muscle injuries?
 

CtPauley

ORVP
Jul 28, 2009
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Intresting, specially the bold part. Would Fergie really play him with two muscle injuries?
Owen Hargreaves, Aug '11: "I wanted to try to keep playing. It shows how desperate I was, trying to battle on with 2 muscle injuries."

Changed his tune.
 

DMF

@dmf180593
Aug 7, 2009
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So he's decided to run his mouth after an entire 57 minutes of game-time.. Anyone got odds on him getting injured in his next game for City?

Karma is a ***** Hargreaves. I dislike you already for joining City but I understood. Some people who hated you for it will have a field day now. Hope he doesn't play on October 23rd. He'll be heckled like crazy.
 

alicwkd

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Jan 8, 2010
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Should have waited until he had a long run of games before he started blaming the medical staff. If he gets an injury now he is going to look incredibly stupid as his excuse will no longer be valid. You can't rule out that he's right, but my gut feeling is that he is feeling bitter because of all the bad luck he's had (understandable really) and is taking it out on United.
 

Mike.

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Feb 15, 2009
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I going to give him the benefit of the doubt here, and put it down to the guardian for now, becuase im just glad he's back, and he'sa great player that i like. But considering 70k a week the club paid you, plus the couple million on your injury costs, i'd be picking my words more carefully. But i wouldnt put it past his words being twisted
 
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GodCubed

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Apr 11, 2010
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United paid his wages for 3 years, in which he had 5 apps. Disrespectful.
 
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Calum

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Dec 22, 2009
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so anyone think the bold bit in the OP was true?

I really dont think an experienced manager like SAF would risk him, even if he told him he was injured?
 

ajt09

Nice Guy Gramps
Oct 23, 2009
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I'm not saying anything on this until it's been confirmed in some way that it's true. If it was so bad, why offer to play for free? If he felt injections were going to hamper his recovery, why agree to them? If it's as bad as he says, why did he say he was friends with the medical staff? Being forced to play against Wolves with 2 muscles tears-really?! Wh didn't he refuse to play?

Something smells very bad here. There's more questions than answers. And if true, this is the worst possible way to endear himself to City fans.
 
Dec 21, 2009
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I was kinda sad when he joined City,now i'm a bit ******, if he plays against us hopefully someone like Vidic or Jones will take the **** out of him.
 
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DMF

@dmf180593
Aug 7, 2009
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Am I the only one who thinks his quotes may have been twisted? Although I have no idea what else he could have said unless the interview was completely made up like the Fabregas one about not winning trophies any time soon..
 

ajt09

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Oct 23, 2009
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Am I the only one who thinks his quotes may have been twisted? Although I have no idea what else he could have said unless the interview was completely made up like the Fabregas one about not winning trophies any time soon..
That's my thoughts too mate. No dates or anything with regards to these comments. Just seems too coincidental these were released so soon after joing Man City. I'm taking this whole thing with an epically large pinch of salt. Just seems weird these came out shortly after Nasri was made to insult Arsenal too
 
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Lol_101

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Aug 17, 2010
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was he born to be injured, or United didnt even know he was a injury prone person even after singing him ?.

seems disrespectful, but guy wanted to play. whats up with the injections too. sigh, medicines.
 

DMF

@dmf180593
Aug 7, 2009
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I can't wait for Fergie's press conference tomorrow.. wonder what his response to this will be.
 

Jack Fulham

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Nov 30, 2008
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I don't see any problem with him criticising the medical team at United, apart from them, he seems to have nothing but good things to say about the club. I've read both the Guardian article and the Mirror article, he pretty much stated he wasn't forced into the Wolves game but didn't put up much of a fight to say he wasn't ready. He wasn't even that bad criticising the medical team, he just said they tried there best and got it wrong which is hardly surprising considering Dr. Steadman said his knees were the worse he's seen in 35 years so I'm not sure how much United's medical staff could of done for him.
 

JonoMUFC

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Aug 25, 2009
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Guinea Pig maybe? He did go to America to get his knees sorted. I didnt like him going to city, it smelt of money grabbing from a player who earnt so much whilst not playing at united. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt. If he is indeed having a go at United's medical team then he has to realize its a two way street, If he had doubts about those injections then he should of said something. Silence is acceptance Owen.
 
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