Ryan Giggs has sympathised with outgoing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey’s injury problems ahead of Wales’ European Qualifying campaign, with the ex-winger revealing he considered quitting the sport early during his Manchester United career.
Ramsey missed out on a farewell appearance and a Europa League final for the Gunners as he prepares to join Juventus next season, and will be absent for Wales’ European Qualifying games against Croatia and Hungary.
The 28-year-old midfielder suffered a hamstring injury during the Europa League quarter-final against Napoli on April 18 and has not featured since.
His international manager Giggs also suffered with muscular injury problems during his Man Utd career and took a number of preventative measures in his later years.
“I was about 28-years-old and similar to Aaron when I started all the yoga and a different diet,” said Giggs.
“As a professional it takes a bit of time to know what your body can take. A lot of the time you are thinking, ‘I can get away with it’.
“The amount of times my hamstring was a little bit tight and sometimes I got away with it and other times I didn’t. It’s that gamble.
“When there is a big game on a Saturday and you want to be part of it and your hamstring is a bit tight – it’s hard.
“Aaron has played a lot this season compared to other seasons leading up to his injury and each game seemed to be a big one.
“It’s easy to say to players you have to manage yourself. But when there is the carrot of a game like a Europa League knock-out stages or a game that you are going for the top four it’s not easy because footballers want to play. If you can get away with it then you go for it.
“Suddenly it hits home. I remember it was Bayern Munich away (November 2001) and I did my hamstring the night before the game.
“It was in the last two minutes of training. People might think it was an over-exaggeration but I kept missing big games.
“I seriously considered giving up because of the disappointment that I kept getting injured. I went back to my room and I thought I’ve had enough of this.
“It was only for half an hour! It was just the level of disappointment.”