AC Milan opts not to renew injured Ronaldo's contract

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AC Milan has elected not to renew the contract of Brazilian striker Ronaldo, as the club wants to wait and see if El Fenomeno recovers fully from his injuries.

Ronaldo's career was believed to be in doubt after he severed a tendon in his knee playing in a Serie A match against Livorno last February.

After a successful operation in Paris, it was revealed that the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year would be out of action for at least nine months, although a more likely return date was said to be in 2009.

Although Ronaldo's rehabilitation is said to be going well, and well ahead of schedule, Milan has been hesitant to offer him a new contract. The 31-year-old's deal at the San Siro actually expired on Monday, meaning he is now a free agent.

Brazilian Web site UOL has reported that Milan is still following the progress of Ronaldo's recovery closely, and could offer him a new deal once he proves his fitness.

There have been, however, recent reports to the contrary in the Italian press that Milan has no intention of offering the former Real Madrid and Barcelona star a new contract, making it entirely possible Ronaldo's career with the Italian super-club is over.

Various reports have linked him to a return to Rio de Janeiro with his hometown club Flamengo, while rumors have circulated for several years that Ronaldo could even try his luck in the U.S. in Major League Soccer.