Edwin gets the elbow

Sunday 12 May 2002

Troubled by persistent pain to his elbow over recent months, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar underwent surgery last week to correct the problem. The operation was carried out as early as possible to ensure that the big Dutchman is back to full fitness by the beginning of the season.

Physiotherapist Jason Palmer explained exactly what the problem was.

"Edwin has had an irritation to his left elbow for a number of weeks recently," he said, "We were able to manage it medically, but it wasn't really resolving. He had various scans and x-rays done, and they showed that he had some loose chips of bone that caused him pain and discomfort in certain movements of the joint.

"It wasn't something that required immediate surgery, so we waited until the team had secured its position in the Premiership next year and the management felt he could be released to have the loose bodies removed.

"He had the operation carried out in Amsterdam by a Dutch surgeon. I accompanied him to the surgery and actually went in and saw what was done. It was an arthroscopic surgical procedure that removed three fairly large loose bodies from the joint as well as doing a little bit of work on the wear and tear generally in the elbow. The pieces were effectively about half the size of a one pence coin, so they were quite significant.

"It was a very successful operation, and he will now work with one of the Dutch national team's Physio's through the summer. If all goes to plan, and there's little that can go wrong, he will be back ready to go for pre-season. It's just a matter of getting the arm strong again and regaining his full range of movement."