It may be the season of change for Roma—new manager, new director of sport, new signings, new uniforms—but one thing remains evergreen: Roma's penchant for collecting niggling little injuries. Whether it's a tweaked hamstring, a strained quad, or somebody just having a bad hair day, Roma players miss an awful lot of match time thanks a myriad of minor maladies. I suppose it's better than the days when ACLs were snapping like twigs trampled under foot, but it's a pattern that shows no signs of subsiding, even under this new leadership.
The latest name on Roma’s list of muscular injuries is the recently acquired Davide Zappacosta. The former Torino fullback only joined up with his new club days before the season opener against Genoa, making his Roma debt late in the second half. With Zappacosta set to start at right back in the derby on Sunday, Paulo Fonseca now had the option of deploying Alessandro Florenzi further up the pitch, increasing his options in attack while simultaneously strengthening his defense. It was a perfect plan until Zappacosta pulled up lame minutes before kick off last weekend, forcing Fonseca to scrap those plans.
And, well, things have gotten decidedly bleaker since then, as tests diagnosed Zappacosta with a grade 2 calf strain. According to reports, Zappacosta's bum calf will keep him sidelined for 3-4 weeks, where he will find good company with Roma’s other injured full back, Leonardo Spinazzola, who hopes to return for the Sassuolo match on the 15th.
I've had a few lower leg issues in my day but never a calf, so I can't say for certain how long it'll linger, but we should be thankful that his injury and the dreadful international break have coincided. Many have lauded Petrachi for building a squad that is truly two-deep at each position (and rightfully so, especially under current conditions), but lingering injuries to Zappacosta, Spinazzola and Perotti could seriously jeopardize Roma's new found depth.
So, God's speed, Davide. We're going to need you.