Real Madrid star Eden Hazard will have his ankle injury operated on by surgeons who are specialised in treating basketball stars.
As outlined by Belgian outlet hln.be, the location in Dallas has been chosen due to their experience in helping recovering basketball players as it is argued that Hazard’s twists and turns whilst playing football are similar movements.
Hazard has admitted previously in interviews that basketball is his favourite sport outside of football, and he had been rumoured to be taking the number 23 shirt at Madrid – famed by Michael Jordan – before taking the number 7 last summer.
It is reported that the Belgian international will undergo the operation on Thursday after he suffered a fracture to his right distal fibula during the recent 1-0 La Liga loss at Levante – just a week after he returned from a similar three-month layoff.
Real Madrid have yet to make a comment on the length or seriousness of the Belgian captain’s injury but Zinedine Zidane has suggested there may be hope of a return before the end of May.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez told Cadena Ser last week that he was also confident that the former Chelsea star would play again in La Liga this season ahead of the European Championships this summer.
Hazard joined Los Blancos from Stamford Bridge last summer in a move that was reported to have the transfer value of €100m, but injury problems have ensured he has featured in just 15 games for the club.
The former Lille player would have been out of contract in West London this summer, and this latest injury setback will be seen as a significant blow to Zinedine Zidane’s side, who lost to Manchester City in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie last week.