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Placenta cure has other Premier League converts

At least five other Premier League players have tried the same controversial placenta cure that Arsenal's Robin van Persie hopes will speed his return from an ankle ligament injury, reports the Daily Mail. Sportsmail learned that three Manchester City players and two from Liverpool have already placed themselves in the care of radical physiotherapist Mariana Kovacevic.

Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong have all taken their search for a remedy to her Belgrade home, and Liverpool midfielders Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun are believed to have been there on Tuesday after suffering hamstring injuries against Birmingham a week last Monday.

Van Persie was last night thought to be undergoing the controversial procedure that involves massaging liquid from a horse's placenta into the affected area.

Sportsmail can reveal that City even flew Kovacevic over to Manchester earlier this month and discussed the possibility of adding her to their medical staff.

Wary of publicity and secretive about her methods, she declined their invitation but made it clear she would continue to accept players as patients.

Demand for her services has now soared to such an extent that she has recruited a management company to run her affairs.

"She used to treat people in her spare time, but it has started spiralling out of control," said Zoran Krneta, of Star Management Signings, an English-based company with offices across Europe.

"She is quite secretive about it, but the three main elements are massage, the liquid and maybe a little bit of psychology.

"I'm not sure how much percentage applies to each, but it is effective.

"She receives people in her home, and though there has been some scepticism, she is schooled in physiotherapy. That has always been the essence of her work.

"Hamstrings and muscle injuries are her speciality, but it is possible she can treat the sort of ankle ligament injury that Van Persie has.

"She is very serious about her work and always examines a patient before deciding whether to proceed. If she feels it is not appropriate she will not waste their time or take their payment."

Benayoun is now setting his sights on the Merseyside derby with Everton a week on Sunday after confirming he had visited Kovacevic for treatment, along with Riera.

"I have been in Belgrade to see her, and I am feeling better already,' he said. "My hope now is that I will be fit in one week, two at the most. I have a good feeling about it."

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