Strootman undergoes third knee operation

Dutch international Kevin Strootman has had a third knee operation

Dutch international Kevin Strootman's long-running battle with injury continued on Tuesday as the Roma player bowed to advice to undergo a third knee operation in a bid to get his career back on track.

According to Roma the operation went "smoothly", with reports suggesting Strootman could return to competition in three months.

"Kevin Strootman today underwent reconstructive ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery on his left knee. The operation went well and the midfielder will now continue with his rehabilitation program," said a statement by the club.

Strootman was told by specialists last week he may require a third operation on his troublesome left knee, which flared up during a pre-season tour of Australia with his club.

And the Roma midfielder, who originally tore his ACL in March 2014, reluctantly accepted the advice in a bid to kickstart his stuttering career.

"Unfortunately due to a lack of power in my left leg I cannot compete at the highest level right now," Strootman said on his Twitter account.

"The last few weeks we have consulted many top professors all over the world and they and the medical staff of AS Roma have advised me to reconstruct the existing ACL into another position in order for me to have less problems with my knee in the future and to regain my power again."

Strootman joined Roma from PSV Eindhoven in 2013 but has made only 31 appearances in two seasons.

After initially damaging his knee in March 2014 in a 1-0 defeat to Napoli, he returned to action eight months later, in November, only to hit a stumbling block in January this year when he was stretchered off against Fiorentina after sustaining further damage to his ACL. Days later, he underwent his second operation.

Strootman added: "I am hugely disappointed that I cannot contribute to AS Roma and the Dutch National Team for the next few months but I will do everything to get back on the pitch as soon as possible."