A league of second chances: Suárez, Morata, Asensio...
Injured for long spells, there are several players who could play an important role for their teams when football returns to our lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the sporting world forcing many competitions to be cancelled and clubs and players into quarantine and self-isolation. We have no idea when football will return to our screens and while LaLiga have postponed the next two game-weeks, it seems like we might have to wait even longer for the league to return. Right now, there are two dates mentioned: 18 April and 20 May. This is a best case scenario, however, and Luis Rubiales has spoken about four alternatives that the football federation are exploring.
We can't take it for granted that the league will finish as normal. If, however, it does restart and all fixtures are played, the consequences of this break will be evident. It opens a door for those out injured and gives them a chance to regain fitness in an effort to help out their teams. That being said, there are still several unknowns (Will there be a Euros? Will the Olympic Games go ahead? Will leagues be finished?) Marco Asensio, Hazard, Maxi Gómez, Fernando, Morata, Tomás Pina... The chance for some of these players to shine once again this season has re-emerged.
Madrid get a chance to recover
Real Madrid have suffered this season with key injuries. In the last game before the corona outbreak, they lost two of their starters; Thibaut Courtois and Marcelo were set to miss a couple of weeks after injuring themselves in the Real Betis game. They will both have recovered adequately by the time the league returns.
Eden Hazard, the leader of Madrid's new project, is also out and has bought some time. He underwent surgery in Dallas at the start of March with an eye on a return in time for the Euros. "We'll see him with Madrid before Belgium," said Roberto Martinez about Hazard's return schedule.
Marco Asensio could end the season as a player to have capitalized on the current break. At the end of January, he started to touch the ball and in the last few months has been back on the field after tearing his ACL during the preseason. His goal too was the Euros in the summer. An injury of that seriousness, however, has a lot of complications and can play out in several different ways. The best case scenario is that he returns this season after months of hard work as the Asensio of before.
Luis Suárez from a lost to season to potential game-changer
Barcelona needed to exercise the emergency transfer rule to sign Martin Braithwaite from Leganés after the January transfer window had closed. Luis Suárez has been ruled out for the rest of the season as had Ousmané Dembélé. The Uruguayan has been penciled in for a return at the start of May. He might still play a crucial role in Barcelona's pursuit of LaLiga and the Champions League given the confusion of when we will see football again.
Arthur and Sergi Roberto are continuing their recovery from injury too. The Brazilian suffered from an ankle injury and it was preventing him from showing his best form. Saving something strange happening, he will be back fully healthy once football returns. Sergi Roberto suffered an injury, which would have kept him out until the end of March, but he too has won some time with his recovery. Dembele will not, however, be back in time for a run at LaLiga given the extent of his injury.
Morata injury against Liverpool
Álvaro Morata played with an injury on Wednesday night at Anfield against Liverpool and his injury worsened during the game. He will be out for a month due to that same hamstring injury. That might have spelled disaster for Simeone in the past but the former Madrid player will be recovered by the time we return to action. The only problem now is that the difficult circumstances in Madrid curtailing his chances to train on the field and potentially recover quicker.
Other LaLiga teams but themselves time
Aside from the big three, many footballers will return for decisive weeks of the calendar. Maxi Gómez, for example, suffered a broken toe in his foot and had surgery on that injury. At Valencia, however, they were not optimistic about his return. Now, however, he has a new opportunity to get fit at a vital point in the season as a boost for Albert Celades.
Fernando, Sevilla's midfielder, suffered a torn groin muscle and was set to miss a number of weeks. His performances have been important for Sevilla and Lopetegui and now that timeline has changed completely. The same thing will happen with Hernani, Rober Pier, Ramis, Rochina, Tomás Pina... The injuries of Garay and Chimy Ávila, are slightly different and they probably won't return until next season regardless of how long football is done for.
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