Just a few days ago, prior to the Champions League Round of 16 match in Portugal, I was able to report that EDF would have nearly a full squad to choose from for his last stand. Now just days later, Claudio Ranieri won’t have such a luxury for his second Roma debut. The Giallorossi will be severely short-handed on Monday against Empoli at the Olimpico. When the Tuscan side comes to the Capital, Roma will likely be without eight players through a combination of injury and suspension.
Last weekend’s fiery finish to the Derby saw Aleksandar Kolarov receive a double booking and red card. He will be suspended Monday. Joining Kolarov on the suspended list are Edin Dzeko and Federico Fazio, who each reached the yellow card accumulation quota during that match.
Meanwhile, the news on the injury front became much bleaker after Wednesday’s elimination on the Iberian peninsula. Daniele De Rossi was forced to be subbed off just prior to half with an apparent calf injury. Then later in the match, his substitute, Lorenzo Pellegrini, also came off with a hamstring injury. The lastest to joint that list on Friday is Kostas Manolas who could miss three weeks with a muscle injury. Add that trio to long-term absentee Cengiz Ünder, as well as, Javier Pastore and Ranieri could be scrambling to field a make-shift starting XI come Monday.
Update: Nicoló Zaniolo tweaked his calf in training Saturday morning. His status for Monday’s match against Empoli is now questionable. Meanwhile, Primavera star Alessio Riccardi, a potential call up for Monday due to all the injuries, also suffered a muscular injury. He is the 40th muscle injury for Roma this season.
Medical Staff Gets the Chopping Block
The heads continued to roll at Trigoria on Friday. In addition to manager Eusebio Di Francesco and DS Monchi being relieved of their duties, nearly the entire Roma medical staff was also let go. Chief Medic Riccardo Del Vescovo, who had been with Roma since 2012 was sent packing along with many other on the fitness staff. The team’s chief physio Damiamo Stafanini was along given a pink slip.
This move may fly under the radar compared to the firing of EDF and dismissal of Monchi. However, it may be no less important, as Roma have suffered through a long list of injuries during Del Vescovo’s time. Whether this issue can be fixed with a new staff remains to be seen, but the club has no doubt had enough of the unceasing injury blows it has suffered through.