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Ljungberg has hip surgery, could miss up to three months

Freddie Ljungberg (AP) 

When Freddie Ljungberg signed with the Seattle Sounders the biggest knock against his acquisition was Ljungberg reputation as an injury-plagued player.

Well, the fears have already been proven to be justified.

Ljungberg is set to miss between two to three months, and may miss the team's inaugural match on March 19 vs. the New York Red Bulls, after having surgery to repair hip and hamstring injuries.

According to the Seattle Times, surgeons repaired a slightly torn hip labrum and shaved a small amount of bone where the hip meets the femur.

Based on the time table, the 31-year-old Swedish midfielder could miss the season opener, but may return in time to face the Red Bulls.

Not exactly the start to the new year you want for your multi-million dollar player, is it?

What do you think of this development? Surprised? Saying, "I knew this would happen"? Disappointed as a Sounders fan? Happy that it happened now rather than during the season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. How many Seattle fans would even recognize Llungberg if he walked into the room.

    They wouldn’t. Not unless Freddie is doing endorsements for Krispy Kreme.

  2. Qwest field was the #3 out of the 32 NFL fields in a poll of NFL players favorite playing surfaces last year. Again this is a different game but just as fast and athletic. i look forward to next season everyone!

  3. Welcome to MLS DRew Carey….I cannot believe there was no physical before giving the guy 2.5 mil…unreal waste of a move…welcome to a 6 win season….i guess this pretty much soldifies his playing at #10 instead of out wide…

  4. This is just a typical DP story. When will MLS teams learn to use these spots on players that will make a difference on the field instead of simply making headlines?

  5. looking at this freddie situation a little closer and the cash they shelled out on him, i wonder why it is so impossible for a team to use dp type money on a player like, say, kenny cooper.

    i’m not going to get all “kc is the 2nd coming”, but seriously, you KNOW he will get goals, you know he is a proven mls commodity.

    taking a risk on injury-prone freddie seems like a colossal waste of money when you don’t know what you are getting yourself into.

    to be honest, i am more inclined to tune into kc playing in a match than ljundjbdgerg.

    then again, i don’t have billions of dollars burning a hole in my pocket.

  6. As for turf:

    Why does every single player and coach say they hate playing on Turf?

    Seems pretty simple to me. Get rid of it.

    Oh, and, to the subject at hand – hope Freddie heals well and fast.

  7. You guys can drag up all the statistics you want, but what do the pros prefer E.G. whose national team DOESN’T play at their national stadium due to the presence of fieldturf.

  8. As a Seattlite, I believe the reason Qwest Field has turf is strictly due to outgoing Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and his desire to have a “fast team” that needed solid footing. Kinda strange that the successful teams he coached for in San Fran and Green Bay played on grass.

    I think we are all hopeful that after Mike leaves and the NFL team is re-shaped into more of a cool-weather/rain team with big players and a running-first attack, that the team will bend and switch to grass. But considering they just installed this latest turf iteration, I can’t imagine that would be any sooner than 5 years out.

    I’m upset about Freddie, but as a longtime Gooner who has followed his career closely, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m hopeful surgery helps, but there is no guarantee.

  9. tim, with all due respect, how can that reasonably be demonstrated? There is no real statistical data comparing equal populations playing on modern field turf and grass. If there were, why would a stadium in Seattle, where grass grows like well, a weed, operated by the third richest man in the world at that point, put in turf? High schools and universities do it because it’s cheaper to maintain, I don’t think Paul Allen has that problem. It’s not the painted concrete of the Meadowlands. Why would anyone build a stadium with field turf to house their stable of multi million dollar atheletes if there actually was a high injury risk? The money you would save in the lifetime of the stadium would be erased the first time you had to pay your star running back to spend a season in rehab. You can make an aesthetic argument, or a tradition one, but an injury one? The NFL is perhaps the wealthiest sports league in the world, top to bottom, why would they allow a surface that causes more injuries? Especially allowing one to be built, not just grandfathered? If you can cite a longitudinal study that says differently, please do. Not anecdotes, an actual look at real statistical data, that demonstrates that equivalent groups, doing equivalent activities on grass and turf have higher injury rates (or more severe injuries) on field turf than grass. I’m not aware of one, but I’d love to see it.

    Aesthetically, grass is better. No question. But that wasn’t the claim.

  10. Here is a pretty good compilation of studies involving soccer and other sports by a seemingly neutral academic on artificial turf vs. real turf:

    It indicates no increased injury rate. However, I these studies are all based on acute injuries. I wonder about if there is any difference in the rate of tendinitis, bursitis, etc.

    One study made an interesting point that 3rd generation artificial turf is definitely safer than poorly maintained grass fields. The author specifically mentioned fields in difficult to maintain climates in the northern latitudes (like Toronto would be). However, another study found that as 3rd gen artificial turf gets a little older it starts having hard and soft patches which make it much less safe.

    Still, I am DEFINITELY a fan of natural turf for soccer whenever feasible, although maybe in the future (and I think it’s getting closer) the differences between the two types of surfaces will be small enough that there will be no appreciable difference as far as how the ball plays on the surface.

  11. Umm, studies out of Sweden for soccer prove you wrong Tim.

    Or you could compare injury rates for the U-20 World Cup in Canada, if you don’t believe medical statistics out of Sweden.

  12. Ives,
    I just had that exact surgery he did on August 12, 2008. Key will be for him not to rush it because if he does he will have issues. Most people I spoke to that had post surgery issues were the ones that rushed back.

    I am training hard now wearing cleats on a field and feeling great and I am 4 months and one week out. I could play in games now if the season was going on. At 3 months I would not have been ready to go.

    He made the right choice getting it done now because that turf would have really had an affect on him. I wish him the best. Yall can reference my blog at to see how my recovery went and the steps along the way.

  13. I agree. I hate these expensive foreign signings. Get good young Americans, or Canadians, or Central Americans, and make them into a solid league. When it gets popular, then start to buy.

  14. Dave, I would say, from personal experience, the only knee issue I’ve ever had came from a day with an hour on old turf training, and 3 on field turf playing. I’d say the injury was from the original turf, but the way field turf springs, I lean towards it coming from there.

  15. SDM

    turf, turf, turf, turf. mls should protect their assets and require grass at all stadiums.

    Posted by: biological | December 20, 2008 at 05:05 PM

    In response to him having surgery, not getting injured. The lack of context is rather confusing.

    And the people that are saying that FieldTurf results in greater injuries are ignoring the actual science on the subject.

  16. For all the money they pay Limpberg and Becks, they could pay their young Americans a decent, living wage. (And still have money left over to buy some foreigners who are actually interested in earning their fat roll …)

  17. Matt, there was never the assumption that attendance would have a large bump when Ljungberg was signed. There were already 16,000 season ticket holders and already a jersey sponsorship worth more than any other team in the league.

    He was signed because he was on a free, and has a small (for a DP) guarunteed contract.

  18. Dave, show me one person who’s blamed field turf. What people ARE saying is that the turf is going to make things even worse for a guy who gets injured quite a bit.

  19. Can we come up with an official over/under number of regular season games he gets this year. I say it should be 14. And if thats it, put me down for under.

  20. mmmnnnn, who could have guessed?

    Oh, yes. EVERYONE.

    When you have to use 20% of your salary cap (not to mention the actual cash above the $400,000 per player limit on non-DP’s), you can’t risk this.

    Even good players sometimes don’t take to MLS for a variety of reasons:

    1. Style

    2. Speed of play

    3. The other players on my team aren’t good enough to help me succeed.

    You can’t add an additional high risk to injury as well.

    This is as stupid and predictable as John O’Brian, Jean Plippe Pequero, Rafael Wicky and the rest.

    How many Seattle fans would even recognize Llungberg if he walked into the room.

    Big “Stars” in Europe are so in the US because we don’t watch the European Leagues as much. So why would they think Llungberg would bring in the thousands of additional fans necessary to pay his salary?

  21. I’ve had a similar injury, and it hurts like a beast. I hit a long cross, and went straight to the ground, in a heap.

    It did not require surgery, but took almost 4 months to heal.

    Hope it doesn’t linger, for the Sounders’ sake.

  22. I think its smart for them to nip that injury in the bud now and get it out of the way. Seems to be that he will only miss a couple of games at the most which isn’t to bad. Seatle should be fine.


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