While it looks like Roma dodged a bullet with Edin Dzeko's dodgy right hand, they had no such luck with Miralem Pjanic's suddenly wonky right calf. During Bosnia's Euro 2016 qualifier against continental heavyweights Andorra, Pjanic gamely limped off the pitch with what has since been diagnosed as a first degree right calf strain.
That's the not so good news, the bad news is that Mira will be sidelined for up to three weeks, meaning he will miss this weekend's semi-local derby against Frosinone, Monday's Champions League opener against mighty Barcelona and potentially Sassuolo on the 20th and Sampdoria on the 23rd.
And if all that isn't bad enough, there is speculation that Bosnian team medics were aware of the situation prior to the Andorra match yet permitted Pjanic to play, a situation reminiscent Kevin Strootman's ordeal with the Netherlands last winter.
While three weeks without Pjanic this early in the season may not seem like a big deal, outside of Frosinone, those are three huge matchups they'll have to traverse without their best midfielder. Roma may not be able to defeat Barcelona under the most ideal of circumstances, but gutting out a draw at home is certainly feasible, but without Pjanic's influence in the midfield, that task becomes downright Herculean.
Domestically, the situation isn't much better. While Sampdoria and Sassuolo won't be Scudetto contenders, nor will they threaten Roma's spot on the table, they are two of Italy's better sides, so any assumed victories, with or without Pjanic, quite frankly, is idiotic. Points against sides like these may very well the dividing line between European qualification next season, let alone the Scudetto, so Roma absolutely needs all hands on deck.
However, if we want to view things sunny side up, this may open the door for Salih Uçan to make his mark on the first team. With Leandro Paredes out the door for the year, Uçan is first in line to replace Pjanic, particularly as he is really the only attacking midfielder remaining on the roster. If he can step up and prove his worth over the next three weeks, Uçan's present and future in Rome should become much more lucid.
Calf strains tend to linger, so let's keep our fingers crossed because through two weeks, it sure seems like Pjanic is set to take the next step in his career.