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DUNDEE UTD v RANGERS Today, kick-off 1pm Live on Setanta Sports 1

By GORDON WADDELL RELIEVED Scott Robertson last night revealed how a world-renowned surgeon saved his career AND his relationship.

The Dundee United playmaker's dream season was left in tatters in January when docs couldn't get to the bottom of a mystery groin problem.

But Robertson is on the brink of an amazing comeback to full fitness this afternoon against Rangers thanks to a call from pioneering English surgeon David Lloyd.

His revolutionary Lloyd Release procedure has saved international stars like Darius Vassell and Marcus Allback as well as Celtic's Barry Robson and Mark Wilson.

Now the 24-year-old insists he and his fiancee Vikki owe the man a debt of gratitude for seeking him out to offer the operation.

He said: "It has been a hard four months. I wasn't sure how long it would be - I got my injection in January and assumed it would only be four weeks.

"It has been the hardest time of my career and I didn't really keep my head straight through it.

"I was getting depressed over it, trying to come back, breaking down, never getting better.

"All I could do was play computer games, watch DVDs and watch my wee boy Darren play football.

Tension "I never thought I was like this but I've found out I'm a lot more sarky and horrible to my fiancee Vikki when I don't get my daily dose of football.

"So it has had its effect on me and Vikki - that's not nice.

"I was still able to kick a ball about in the garden with my wee boy and sometimes you realise there are more important things than football.

"It just didn't feel like that at the time. The injury had never been properly explained to me and that didn't help as well. I had been told it was three different things.

"I almost made a comeback in March then broke down again.

From then on I didn't feel like I was improving at all.

"That was when the club got a call from David Lloyd offering to do the Lloyd Release.

"The procedure is named after him so he's a top man. And I think he wants to do these ops for people who need them.

"I suppose it's a compliment that I heard from him. He cuts the ligament from your pubic bone to hip flexor and sews it back together to release the tension - which I'm told was the problem.

"The op made a big difference and I felt great straight away. I still have a bit of discomfort but it's bearable and I've been told that will gradually ease off."

Robertson, who made his Scotland debut in November against Argentina, was on course for a stellar season until he was crocked. Now, with 90 minutes left, he's itching to get going again while everyone else at Tannadice is heading for the beach.

He said: "I'm doing everything in training - the short, sharp games and the sprints. It's general fitness I need and I'm only going to get that with games and a pre-season.

"I've had four months off already so I'll maybe have a week's holiday with the family then get back into it. I need pre-season." For now, Robertson is more interested in making a contribution to this season - but the former Dundee man has warned punters not to expect a classic today.

Gers need a win to guarantee the title, United need to stop them to cement their place in Europe.

And Scott said: "I played in the 3-3 and 2-2 draws with Rangers this season. But this will probably be the most boring game of the season because of how much is at stake.

"Last season I played in front of just four or five thousand fans in the First Division.

"This year is more enjoyable as it's packed houses against the Old Firm. This is a huge game for us as well as Rangers. It will feel like an injustice if we don't get that European place.

"We've shown we can compete with the best teams. But, as the manager has told us, wherever you finish is what you deserve."


Robson: Another success in surgery In good hands: David Lloyd Vassell: Saved by surgeon Lloyd What the doctor ordered: United star Robertson has been saved by an operation from top medic David Lloyd
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 24, 2009
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