Roy Keane defied medical advice and attempted to play with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament

Roy Keane Manchester United
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dave Fevre worked at Manchester United between 1994 and 1999 as a senior physio, looking after some of the most successful players in England at that time.

Roy Keane played for the club during that spell, and, after suffering that now-infamous cruciate ligament injury from an Alfie Inge Haaland tackle against Leeds United at Elland Road in 1997, Fevre recalls exclusively to FourFourTwo the Irishman's mentality in that situation.

“His mind wasn’t on the injury,” Fevre tells FFT. “In the treatment room, I assessed his knee and thought, ‘Cruciate’. 

"When we went to the hospital, we sat there, watching Blankety Blank on TV. He turned it off and said, ‘So, Dave, what the f**k’s going on?’ I told him that I thought he’d done his cruciate, but we were waiting for a specialist. ‘So let’s get the f**k on with it!’ he said. 

“You don’t operate in the first week, because you need to get the swelling down. A week on, the swelling had settled and Roy was determined he could play on. I told him, ‘Roy, I’m not being funny, but…’ He said, ‘No, no, I’ll be able to play – I want to go and try it’. We went to play basketball, but his knee just buckled."

Fevre continues, explaining Keane's mindset during the rehabilitation period by highlighting how desperate the midfielder was to get back playing again.

“During his rehab, we did a pool session while Uwe Rosler and Alan Kernaghan from Manchester City were sat in the jacuzzi, not doing anything. Roy said, ‘What the hell’s going on? Look at the City lads’. 

"I told him that’s why they played for City and Roy for United. It was a completely different mentality. Roy said, ‘You’re right. Let’s get on with it’. His work ethic was phenomenal.” 

Of course, that cruciate ligament injury provided the supposed background motivation of Keane's stamp on Haaland at Old Trafford four years later, with the Norwegian now playing at Manchester City.

However, while Keane didn't play for the rest of the 1997/98 season, he returned with a fire in his belly the following campaign. You know the one, the treble-winning, all conquering historic season led by Keane at the forefront. 

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