Manchester United have opened a multi-million pound medical facility which they hope will extend the careers of their star players.
Sponsors Toshiba have installed three state-of-the-art scanners at the AON Training Complex in Carrington, where United train.
Red Devils manager David Moyes, speaking at the unveiling on Tuesday, described the suite as “the best in Europe, if not the world.''
The MRI, CT and ultrasound scanners will allow United to detect injuries earlier and treat them more effectively.
Club doctor Steve McNally also thinks the facility will allow squad members to extend their playing careers into their mid-to-late 30s, like the long-serving Ryan Giggs has done.
“This [facility] is going to make that more possible,'' he said. “I think we will see more players extend their careers for longer, particularly if we can look after those injuries that have threatened or curtailed players' careers.
“A player has a life cycle starting from his early days, through to his performance phase, and then to the point where he may be a little bit past it. We want to keep more players in the performance phase and using the imaging technology in line with our other sports science will allow us to make the right decisions to keep players in the performance phase for longer.
“Ryan has clearly done that largely through his own methods but with a little bit of help from us but we might be able to transfer that process on to more players more of the time.''
It is understood that Toshiba, who signed a sponsorship agreement with United two years ago, have spent several million pounds on the facility.
The scanners will allow United to track players' muscular and skeletal development.
Any players who suffer injuries in training can be immediately scanned at Carrington and the improved quality of the equipment means a more accurate diagnosis can be given on the spot.
Another bonus for Moyes is that United will now be able to conduct player medicals at Carrington, rather than at the nearby hospital they had previously used.
“It's a wonderful facility, something which we can show off to new players when they come in,'' Moyes added. “They will have the best medical facilities at a football club in Europe, and probably the world.
“It's something which will make a big difference to the club. Undoubtedly it will help us get players on the field quicker more often and in turn we should have less injuries as well.''