Brazil legend Ronaldo's career in balance

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{image-brazil ronaldo_14022008.jpg}Milan, Feb 14: AC Milan striker Ronaldo, the top scorer in soccer World Cup history, suffered a knee injury Wednesday that may put his career in jeopardy.

The 31-year-old Brazilian left the field in tears on a stretcher after rupturing his left kneecap ligament during a 1-1 tie against Livorno in Milan, Italy, his club said on its website. Adriano Galliani, Milan's managing director, said doctors would know whether surgery is needed in the next few days. The Gazetta dello Sport said Ronaldo, who holds the World Cup record with 15 goals, may be out nine months to a year, possibly ending his career.

A three-time world soccer player of the year, Ronaldo joined Milan from Real Madrid in January 2007 for $10.9 million. He previously missed 17 months because of a knee injury while playing for Inter Milan.

"It's a problem with the tendon in his left knee, not the knee that was operated on in the past," Galliani said. "The severity of it isn't known yet, but it's a serious problem."

Ronaldo had only been on the field for a short time when he went down in the penalty area as he attempted to jump for a ball.

The Galaxy will play a friendly against the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL First Division on May 13 in Edmonton, Canada.

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