Klinsmann faces knee operation

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The Independent Online

Jurgen Klinsmann is facing a knee operation after injuring himself during a friendly for his club, Bayern Munich, against Cagliari in Italy on Tuesday.

Klinsmann hurt his knee when he fell awkwardly after going up for a header. The German champions are training in Sardinia during the Bundesliga's winter break, and the injury has hit Klinsmann at a time when he has been enjoying some of the best form of his life following last season's successful year with Tottenham.

Klinsmann, who has scored some crucial goals this season in the national team's European Championship qualifying campaign, may miss next month's re-start to the German First Division. If he needs an operation, his hopes of playing against Nottingham Forest in the Uefa Cup quarter-finals at the start of March could be in danger.

On his return to Germany, Klinsmann had an appointment to see the Bayern club doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, who has a reputation for getting sportsmen back to fitness quickly. His list of patients includes Boris Becker and Linford Christie.

Klinsmann's injury comes as a blow to Bayern, who have been struggling with injuries to leading players in the past year, including French international striker Jean-Pierre Papin and Lothar Matthaus.

Papin has been unable to make an impact in Germany, while Matthaus only recently returned to action following Achilles tendon operations and has lost his place in the German national team. German internationals Thomas Strunz and Christian Ziege have also been struggling to get fit as the Bavarian side prepare for the second half of the season.

Rangers will hold talks over the next few days with the advisers of Brian Laudrup in an effort to secure the services of the Danish international. Laudrup's contract expires in 18 months, but Rangers are making an early move to ensure they keep one of their highest-profile players at Ibrox.

David Murray, the Rangers chairman, said: "When you have a special talent - and Brian Laudrup is a special talent - you do what you can to hold on to it. I want to see Brian Laudrup stay at Rangers and I know the Rangers supporters do as well."

Laudrup was linked with a possible move to Manchester United earlier this season and was quoted as saying he would like to link up with his Danish international team-mate Peter Schmeichel at Old Trafford.

He had a superb debut season last term, helping Rangers to a seventh successive league title and became the Professional ers' Association and Writers' Association player of the year.