By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger doesn’t mind Robin van Persie seeking alternative treatment for his ankle injury - but he still believes modern medicine is the best medicine.
The Dutch striker’s quest for a speedy return from ligament damage has led him to Serbia where one procedure will see placenta fluid dripped onto his ankle.
Van Persie is open-minded and willing to try anything to trim his projected six-week lay-off but Wenger is not so sure. The Frenchman has seen some weird and wonderful ‘cures’ in his long career and is sticking his colours firmly to the mast of modern treatment.
At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Wenger explained why he is not a fan of outlandish alternatives.
“When you have, for example, a muscle problem, it's 21 days [out],” he said. “I've never seen anybody shorter.
“I have seen so many people sent there and in five days they can play. But they can only play with injections and then they have a recurrence of a muscle injury always.
“You cannot shorten it [the recovery period]. The intensity of the treatment can help and sometimes you can speed it up a little but there are some problems. A damaged ankle ligament takes four weeks.”
That said, Wenger is happy to let Van Persie supplement his usual treatment with a more experimental approach. The Arsenal manager certainly does not object to placenta treatment on ethical grounds.
“It's not injected,” he said. “I leave that responsibility to my medical people. I ask is there any danger to do it, they say no, I say OK let’s let him go and that's it.
“I heard of it [this form of treatment] for the first time when Van Persie called me and explained the situation to me and wanted to go.
“I didn’t give it too much importance. It's sometimes physiologically for the player to feel that it can help. We have all been in a situation we cannot get rid of: somebody gives you advice - 'go here, go there' – and at the end of the day if the traditional treatment cannot help you, go somewhere else.
“When you travel a lot you see Asian treatment, African treatment, European treatment. It's all different.”Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source