Whose idea was it do an article on Nacho last week saying that he is rarely, or ever, injured?
From the moment that was published, the clock was ticking. It’s like when the television commentators go on about how solid somebody’s defence is and they immediately lose a goal or how so-and-so “never misses from that range”!
Zinedine Zidane included Nacho in the squad for the Juventus game, but that’s the normal for Real where big European games are concerned.
Texts on Nacho‘s injury have revealed an injury to the semitendinosis muscle of the right thigh; which is one of the hamstring muscles. Exact details regarding the full extent of the injury haven’t as yet been released by the club so it will be a case of waiting to see how the injury unfolds in the next few days.
Injuries of the hamstring group to which the semitendinosis muscle belongs are relatively straightforward to treat but have a high risk of recurrence.
Depending on the exact nature of the injury and perhaps more importantly in Nacho’s case, how it was actually sustained can affect the outcome.
If the injury is relatively minor, say with only a few muscle fibres stretched or damaged, then potentially Nacho could be ok for the return leg with Juventus. Anything above minor could make it difficult for him to recover in time for next week.
In terms of estimating a return to play date, the timing of this will be dictated by how well Nacho responds to treatment as opposed to how long the text books say an injury of this nature will take to heal.
Nacho is also diabetic; which can have an effect on the body’s recovery rate following injury. It’s probably too early though to estimate how soon he’ll be back in training but a picture will become clearer as the next 48 hours or so unfold.
It’s such a shame for Nacho; but the timing of this couldn’t have been worse. Eight days to recover from an injury of this type doesn’t leave much leeway in terms of healing time; but we are generally looking at anything between two to six weeks for anything other than a minor irritation.
Either way, he’s unlikely to be rushed back due to the inherent risks of repeat or recurrent injury.
This made all the more pressing thanks to Sergio Ramos’ yellow card in Turin which means the skipper misses the second leg.
Zinedine Zidane now finds himself in a difficult position for this weekend’s La Liga fixture when Real face Atlético in the Madrid derby.
With Jesús Vallejo now very much to the fore thanks to Sergio’s unavailability, the question as ever is over who to field against Cholo’s team on Sunday at the Bernabéu.
For sure, Zidane isn’t going to want thrust Jesús into the Juventus game without giving him a run-out first; but he does need to balance that with the risk of him potentially picking up an injury on Sunday and making matters worse overall!
Since returning from injury himself, Jesús’ appearances have been limited.
In the last round of international matches he only played in one of Spain’s two under-21 games; turning out against Estonia after having only been an unused substitute in the first match in Northern Ireland.
But this is a decision all managers / coaches have to make on a regular basis and Zidane will surely have been thinking ahead; knowing full well that his captain was walking a very fine line between seeing out the ninety minutes in Turin and being shown the almost-obligatory yellow card.
Decisions, as always though, are likely to be influenced by several other factors. Not least the need to continue the drive for a strong finish to the season; since success feeds success but also bearing in mind that there might be other, lesser known injuries that people might be currently playing through.
Plus of course the potential for any other unknown injuries - perhaps those we don’t know about that Zidane prefers to keep ‘in-house’.
There’s also the question of keeping up the rotations in case a similar situation arises again later in the season.