Ankles are an odd thing. They're often overlooked and underappreciated until you completely wrench one, then you're fully aware of how important these fulcrums are to balance, stability and the simple ability to walk, let alone run or jump. So when Mohamed Salah—whose calling cards are speed and agility—collapsed in a crumpled heap, writhing in pain as he clutched his ankle in the second half of today's derby victory, our hearts rightly sank.
While Salah has played second fiddle to Gervinho in Roma's return to form over the past six weeks, his spot on the team is no less important than the Ivorian's. Salah's five league goals are tied with Miralem Pjanic for second on the club, as are his 2.8 dribbles per match. But those are just the counting statistics; Salah has barely scratched the surface. He packs the same athletic punch as Gervinho with only a fraction of the headaches.
However, much like The Predator, Salah's game is predicated on speed and the ankle, unfortunately, is an extremely slow healing joint, at least in my experiences. So, it is with great pleasure that we pass along the news that Salah's post-match x-rays revealed no fractures.
That's the good news, the bad news is Salah has suffered a rather serious ankle sprain, but the look of anguish on his face probably clued you in on that already. The conservative estimates will see Salah sidelined for two weeks, but for anyone who has dealt with these sorts of injuries, they can linger for weeks if not months beyond the time the swelling has vanished.
So, thank god for that international break, eh?
Salah will undergo further tests tomorrow to determine the full extent of the injury, so stay tuned. If he misses any extended time, expect to see Iago Falque return to the starting lineup with Juan Iturbe picking up a bump in minutes as well.