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United's Olsen Has Surgery on Left Ankle Again

By Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen underwent surgery on his left ankle late yesterday afternoon, according to United spokesman Doug Hicks, adding to an extended recovery from a career-threatening injury that has plagued the veteran this season.

"He did have another procedure [yesterday] on the ankle to try to help the healing process," Hicks said. "This is not expected to end his season."

Details about the surgery and a timetable for a possible return were not available immediately, Hicks said.

Olsen was initially expected to miss the entire season after experiencing continued pain following surgery on both ankles last November, but he instead made a surprising season debut in United's 4-1 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy on June 29. Olsen was honored by United fans before the game with several banners and was given a tremendous ovation upon entering the match. The 31-year-old Olsen played just 15 minutes and said afterward: "It wasn't great; I was like a wounded animal out there."

According to Hicks, Olsen practiced the week leading up to the Galaxy game and used the match to gauge whether he could play through the pain, but the pain was "substantial."

Olsen has experienced several ankle problems during his career, most notably breaking his right ankle in early 2001 while on loan to English club Nottingham Forest -- an injury that required nearly two years of rehabilitation.

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