Antonio Valencia, fresh from an outstanding first season at Manchester United, has endured the surgeon’s knife in a bid to cure an ankle problem. The Ecuadorian, who missed the final two games of the season, returned to his homeland to start a two month long rehabilitation programme before returning to Old Trafford in June.
With Ecuador just failing to reach the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this summer, Valencia underwent the surgery on his right ankle. The 23-year-old will wear a cast for three weeks and will only join United’s summer tour to North America and Mexico if the surgery heals to schedule.
Valencia made 49 appearances for United this season, scoring seven goals and contributing a further seven assists.
Meanwhile Michael Owen, who tore his left hamstring during the Carling Cup final at Wembley in February, is set to join up with United’s squad in the US on 12 July for pre-season training.
“The aim is to be doing everything with the lads on the first day of pre-season training,” said Owen, who remains in complete denial about his awful injury record.
“It was a shame to get the injury at Wembley. I thought it was a minor thing at first but it was obviously worse than that.
“But overall I was delighted with my first season at United. I was fit for 43 of the first 44 games.”
The former Liverpool striker scored nine times last season.