Robin Van Persie to have placenta treatment on injury
Published 23:00 16/11/09 By John Cross
Robin Van Persie has flown to Serbia to undergo bizarre treatment on his ankle - having PLACENTA fluid rubbed into it.
Van Persie is gambling on a revolutionary massage helping speed up his recovery after being ruled out of Arsenal’s title challenge for up to three months.
Dutch striker Van Persie is going to see the same female specialist who treated PSV Eindhoven’s Serbian striker Danko Lazovic and Dutch international Orlando Engelaar.
Lazovic claims the treatment helped speed up his recovery from a bad ankle from being ruled out for six weeks into rushing back within a fortnight.
Van Persie has gone to Serbia with the blessing of Arsenal physio Colin Lewin and manager Arsene Wenger. He will stay for three days of treatment before heading back to London.
Arsenal yesterday said Van Persie is likely to be out for six weeks after damaging ligaments in his right ankle but the club are reluctant to put an exact timescale on the lay-off until he returns later this week.
Van Persie said: “I am going to travel to the Balkans to receive treatment from a female doctor who has helped Danko Lazovic in the past.
“She is vague about her methods, but I know that she first massages you for a long time with placenta fluid.
“I’m going to give it a try. It can’t do any harm and if it helps, it helps. I have been in contact with Arsenal’s chief physio about it. The club has allowed me to have this treatment done.”
Van Persie is among the first in football to use the placenta treatment which is supposed to speed up recovery by transferring oxygen and nutrients as the organ is rich in blood vessels.
Human placenta is often shipped in from Russia for such procedures but it is believed an organ from either a horse or a cow is likely to be used to treat Van Persie.
German specialist Dr Hans Muller Wolfhart has injected calves’ blood to speed up recovery for top stars like Michael Owen and Ruud van Nistelrooy while Dr Richard Steadman, America’s world renowned specialist, has used ligaments from dead people to repair knee cruciate injuries, even in top footballers.
Van Persie is desperate to speed up his recovery after rupturing ankle ligaments following a tough tackle by Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Holland’s friendly on Saturday night.
The Dutchman originally feared he could be out for the season but had more scans in Rotterdam yesterday before flying to Serbia.
But Van Persie is not renowned as a quick healer and the recovery is still likely to take up to three months which is a major blow for Arsenal.
He said: “It appears from the scan that my ankle ligament is almost entirely torn off at the point where Chiellini caught me. However, he did not do it intentionally.
“I was fortunate - the damage could have been even worse. The prognosis is that I will be out for four to six weeks.”
The injury is a massive blow for Arsenal, especially with Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner already out until the New Year after having groin surgery.
Wenger has very few options for the main striker and must now regret not signing Boardeaux striker Marouane Chamakh in August. The French club are unlikely to allow him to leave in January even though he is a free agent next summer.
Croatian international Eduardo is the other option as a main striker but Wenger is concerned about his fitness as he has struggled to steer clear of injury since returning from his double fracture suffered nearly two years ago.
Arsenal do not believe Eduardo can play two or three games a week regularly and that has prompted Wenger to consider using Russian forward Andrei Arshavin through the middle during Van Persie’s absence.
England winger Theo Walcott is set to return to the first team squad for Saturday’s visit to Sunderland and that will increase Wenger’s forward options.
Wenger may also look to use Walcott as a central striker in the Champions League game with Standard Liege next week.