There are fears that Ronaldo
, the three-time World Player of the Year and all-time World Cup leading scorer, may have played his last game. He was carried off in tears with a ruptured ligament in his left
kneecap during AC Milan's 1-1 tie against Livorno on Wednesday.
Sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport
reported that the 31-year-old Ronaldo may
be out of action 9-12 months and the injury might end his career.
Ronaldo, whose recent career has been beset by injuries, had been only on the field for three minutes as a substitute
when he went down to the ground after jumping in the air for a ball in the Livorno penalty area.
"We're all very sad and worried about what happened to Ronaldo," Milan
coach Carlo Ancelotti
said. "I don't want to say his career is over because only time can put the word end to his career."
suffered two serious injuries to his right knee that kept him out of action for 18 months in 1999-2000, but he returned to lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title.
seasons at Real Madrid, Ronaldo was sold to AC Milan 13 months ago. He scored seven goals in 14 games for Milan last season, but injuries limited him to only 320 minutes of play in six league games
"When Ronie cried, I hugged him, the tears fell on me too, but I told him we would stay close to him," Adriano Galliani
Milan's managing director. "Milan have already shown in the past they don't abandon players who suffer injuries, and the same will go for Ronaldo.'' RONALDO CAREER 1993-94
Cruzeiro (Brazil) 14 games, 12 goals 1994-96
(Netherlands) 45 games, 42 goals 1996-97
Barcelona (Spain) 37 games, 34 goals
(Italy) 68 games, 49 goals 2002-07
Real Madrid (Spain) 127 games, 85 goals 2007-
AC Milan (Italy) 20 games,
(Statistics in league play.)