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Vinicius injury update: how long is Real Madrid star missing?

The Brazilian was substituted against Celta Vigo at the weekend but further assessment suggests that the talisman will be out for a while.

The Brazilian was substituted against Celta Vigo at the weekend but further assessment suggests that the talisman will be out for a while.

Real Madrid have now confirmed the injury to winger Vinicius Jr in a statement published on their website.

There’s what can only be described as a tense calmness at Valdebebas, Real Madrid’s training facility. Silence, composure, and patience prevail. However, the feelings surrounding Vinicius are concerning. The discomfort he felt at Balaídos points to a potential tear in the right hamstring. The club is handling the situation in a relaxed fashion: the player spent the weekend resting, and today, Monday, will see the definitive MRI scan being done. In other words, within the next few hours, the exact nature of the issue will be determined, but some fans have been asking why it was postponed until today.

The reason is simple enough: to allow the initial inflammation to subside, which will enable the MRI to more accurately assess the extent of the tear. The pain is located in the posterior part of the right thigh, and it’s certain that he won’t be playing against Getafe, nor will he join the break with Brazil. In the short term, the situation is clear; the uncertainty lies in the medium term. If confirmed, it could mean 4-5 weeks of absence.

Los servicios médicos del Real Madrid realizan un vendaje en el muslo izquierdo de Vinicius. Minutos después, el delantero brasileño fue sustiuido.
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The Real Madrid medical services work on Vinicius's right thigh pitchside.LALO R. VILLARDIARIO AS

Vini not used to injuries: zero risk game

These past couple of days have been rather peculiar. Vinicius felt something akin to a “twinge” during a sprint. Top players, much like most elite athletes, possess an intimate understanding of their bodies and swiftly discern when they’ve encountered an issue requiring an immediate halt, when they can cautiously proceed, or when they’re dealing with a ‘simple’ strain. In this regard, Vinicius is somewhat of an exception, as he has experienced so few muscular injuries throughout his career that he has more difficulty in gauging its severity.

Evidently, he engaged with the medical staff and, still on the pitch, conveyed that he was willing to continue. While not experiencing excessive pain, he acknowledged a discomfort. It was this latter aspect that prompted the coaching staff to make a contrary decision: zero risk. If there’s anything, however small, exercise prudence and conduct a thorough evaluation. Hence, he was substituted in the 18th minute.

During halftime, an initial examination was conducted, which injected a sense of optimism. Nothing appeared overly alarming. However, since then, the situation has taken a less favourable turn.

Inflammation in the area was significant, and the level of discomfort hasn’t subsided. While no definitive conclusion has been reached, the team is holding onto hope. Nevertheless, there’s a growing sense that his absence might extend to approximately a month. The exact duration will be clarified by Monday’s scan, but this Saturday’s match against Getafe is definitely believed to be lost, and he won’t be travelling with Brazil for the international break either.

What games could Vinicius miss for Real Madrid in September?

2-SLaLigaGetafe (H)Out
9-SInternational breakBrazil-BoliviaOut
S/13International breakPeru-BrazilOut
16-SLaLigaReal Sociedad (H)Likely out
19/20-SChampions LeagueDraw tbcLikely out
23/24-SLaLigaAtlético Madrid (A)Doubt
27/28-SLaLigaLas Palmas (H)Doubt

Ancelloti comments on Vinicius situation

Vini will remain in Madrid, recovering without pressure. “With the international break, he will gain time for when we return,” Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti hinted to the media. It’s an unusual situation for him: this marks his first muscular injury in over five years (it happened in 2018). Since then, there’s only been one injury that stands out, but it was traumatic: a ligament rupture in the tibioperoneal joint, against Ajax in 2019.

“Afterwards, I spent about six months playing with fear. Every time I ran, I’d think about how to place my foot and how not to. When it was cold, I’d feel pain without even doing anything. I’d go to put on my boot, and it would already hurt... it was all in my head,” Vini confessed to our sister paper El País.

Yet, it had been a solitary blemish in his record. The only instance when he had been seen in the infirmary at Chamartín.

Vinicius injured his ankle ligaments in a tackle by Mazraoui, in 2019.
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Vinicius injured his ankle ligaments in a tackle by Mazraoui, in 2019.CHEMA DIAZDiarioAS

Up until now. When he will undergo an MRI to ascertain the extent of his injury in Vigo. The one who never bled, bled this time. Ancelotti himself tried to find an explanation for the situation.

“We have to thank his parents because he has a spectacular genetic makeup, but it’s also important to acknowledge his professionalism... he takes exceptional care of himself before and after matches, deeply committed to his work.”

Derby in jeopardy for Vinicius

It’s almost certain that he will miss the match against Real Sociedad and the Champions League opener (group stage draw coming up this week). Therefore, as they’re contemplating, the zenith of concern is the derby at the Metropolitano (on 23/24 September), just around four weeks after the Vigo incident. It’s cutting it very close, indeed.

If there’s one thing Real Madrid is sure about, it’s that they won’t take any unnecessary risks. Vinicius will return when the risk of a relapse is believed to be nil. He’ll play when he’s in form and at a high competitive level. Without rushing. So, even the derby isn’t guaranteed for him, as he faces a September spent in the infirmary. At least today, he’ll know precisely what he’s dealing with and how long it’ll take. It’s time for Real Madrid to activate Plan B... Hey Jude!