A leading Spanish doctor says he believes Eden Hazard may 'not play football again' if he undergoes further surgery on his problematic ankle.
The Belgian has been plagued by injuries since his big-money move to Real Madrid in 2019, often suffering a setback as soon as he as returns from the previous knock.
The latest example of his streak of bad luck came earlier this week; Hazard made his first appearance for Los Blancos since January on Saturday having been out with a muscle injury, before being ruled out again with a problem with his hip.
This is the 11th injury Hazard has suffered since joining the club under two years ago. For comparison, he only dealt with nine during his seven years at Chelsea which saw him miss a total of 21 matches. At Real, he has already missed 50.
However, while that issue is expected to keep him out for a month, the Belgium international is reportedly considering surgery on the ankle that has caused him problems since he fractured it in his debut season in Madrid, to finally put an end to his injury nightmare.
There are fears that something is still not right in Hazard's ankle, which has forced the 30-year-old to alter his running technique to something a little more awkward, and that is why his body has not been able to cope.
He currently has a plate in his ankle to try and strengthen it, but Hazard is now considering returning to the operating room to have that plate removed in an attempt to rediscover his original running stance and hopefully bring his nightmare to an end.
However, Dr Jose Gonzalez, who works for Real's rivals Atletico Madrid, has warned that a third operation on that ankle could bring a premature end to Hazard's career.
Speaking to Ondacero, as quoted by the Daily Mail, he said: "Hazard has to train with the team for up to ten training sessions. In my experience it is difficult for him to return to playing at his level with Real Madrid this season.
"If a player returns after a long injury without having hardly trained, the most normal thing is that he is injured again. He has anxiety, he wants to show that he is worth and wants to give 100% and he is not there for that.
"A third operation on Eden Hazard's ankle is very risky, there could be the possibility that the player would not play football again."
Of course, this could well be scaremongering from Los Blancos' city rivals, and Belgium are said to be keen to get the procedure out the way so as to have their captain fit for the upcoming European Championship.