It didn’t take long for the Universe to balance itself out. If Mourinho’s leaving Chelsea was the ying, then fresh reports that both Xabi Alonso and Daniel Agger have suffered broken metatarsals is certainly the yang.
The club has confirmed the injuries:
Neither player will require surgery but we expect them to be out of action for between four and six weeks. Xabi Alonso has suffered a stress fracture to the fourth metatarsal in his left foot and Daniel Agger has suffered a stress fracture to the second metatarsal in his right foot.
I’m no doctor (I only play one at the bar on Saturday nights), but you count the metatarsals out from the big toe (#1). So, Agger’s hurt little piggy is the one next to the big toe, while Xabi’s is the one next to the littlest pig. I’m unsure if one toe is more load-bearing than the other (being next to the big toe might support less weight (?) vs. being the toe that balances the weight on the outside of the foot), so I can’t make a claim to which injury might be ‘better’. (any real doctors in the house?)
So, for those of you scoring at home; Cloud = Out of action for up to six weeks, Silver Lining = No surgery.
*sigh* I suppose this could be a karmic reaction for my taking too much pleasure in Rooney’s injury and Mourinho’s departure. But, I’ve defended Spurs in the wake of their injures. Doesn’t that count for something, Universe?
Obviously, both of them will be missed. But, despite Alonso’s unrivaled passing, I believe the central midfield has the depth to cope with his absence. Masch and Momo can take turns anchoring the midfield as Stevie G will have to rachet up his recent performances to compensate.
The Agger exit has me a bit more worried. Hyypia is obviously available, but doesn’t offer the same refined offensive talents or speed. There are also questions about the 34-year old’s ability to play at a high level twice at week.
Arbeloa is able to play in the middle and there still is the emergency option of young Jack Hobbs. Neither option really fills me with an extreme amount of confidence. I’ll admit, having a certain Argentinian on the books would have made this injury easier to swallow. No doubt that Rafa will have to move for another central defender come January.
I’ve always been adament that injuries are no excuse, as they’re a part of the game. Obviously, losing two key players is a blow to any club, but I have faith in the squad Rafa has built to continue to get the job done.
In case you were wondering, our fixture list looks like this over the next six weeks:
vs. Birmingham (PL)
at Reading (Carling Cup)
at Wigan (PL)
vs. Marseille (CL)
vs. Tottenham (PL)
at Everton (PL)
at Besiktas (CL)
vs. Arsenal (PL)
at Blackburn (PL)
vs. Besiktas (CL)
Jumping out at me, that’s half the Champions League group matches, the Everton derby at Goodison and Arsenal. There certainly could be worse stretches of the schedule in which to lose Xabi and DAgger, but we by no mean caught a lucky break (*rim shot*).
In other injury news, JAR has declared himself fit for selection this weekend. Should he be ready to go, this would give Rafa the option of pairing Arbeloa with Carra, should he decide to rest Hyypia’s legs.