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Ibrahimovic, 36, endured injury hell last season during Manchester United’s European campaign. He suffered knee ligament damage putting him on the sideline for an extended spell.

Though after months out of the fold, Ibrahimovic made his anticipated return against Newcastle United in the Premier League, making his first appearance of the new season following signing a new contract in the summer.

However, Ibrahimovic to be back so soon is even more impressive after he’s revealed the extent of his injury.

“If people knew the real injury, they would be in shock that I was even playing. It was more than the knee but I will keep it personal – that’s why I choose not to talk of it,” Ibrahimovic said via The Guardian.

Ibrahimovic enters the fray. Image: PA

Ibrahimovic adds: “In my recovery I have not rushed anything; I have been out for six and half months. I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day. The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing. I was working five, six hours a day.

“When it happened I said giving up was not an option. My only focus was on coming back and coming back better. I know it’s my head playing, not my knee; my knee has to follow.

“With my experience and career I know what I have to do but I feel good. I am very proud of the moment to play again and for everyone around me because I wouldn’t have done it alone. Thanks to the supporters for keeping me motivated, the coach who’s trusted me, the club that believes in me and my family obviously.

The Swedish hero made a cameo appearance against Newcastle, nearly marking his return with an audacious goal. But he did receive a resounding reception from the Old Trafford faithfuls.

“It was an amazing reaction from fans but I felt it from day one. From the first step in the warm-up, with people singing and cheering for you, it’s what keeps you going. This was not a one-man work, it was everyone’s and thanks to them that I am back on field and can play.

United fans will be hoping Ibrahimovic can spearhead their side to glory.