Reporting on injuries is nothing new around these parts—in fact, it's something we're all too accustomed to—but, for a variety of reasons, we've decided not to report on the team's smattering of COVID cases over the past several weeks and months. First, there is the personal angle: these aren't strains, sprains or tears suffered through the course of a match, these are personal and potentially serious illnesses, and as such, it didn't feel right to discuss them publicly. Second, there isn't really anything we can add to the pandemic equation that you don't already know, so speculating on the means of transmission, the club's tracing procedures and the broader societal implications of the pandemic are a bit beyond the scope of a footballing site.
But, considering how large he looms in Roma's plans, both now and in the near future, we simply couldn't ignore Edin Dzeko's recent Instagram post, in which he confirms he has tested positive for COVID-19:
While Dzeko confirms that he's not displaying any particular symptoms, given the club and league quarantine guidelines, he will miss this weekend's match against Genoa and won't be permitted to join the Bosnian National Team during the upcoming international break.
Naturally, losing your club's fourth all-time leading scorer is a monumental challenge to overcome, but one can't help but noticing the timing here. After toiling in obscurity for the first few months of his Roma career, Borja Mayoral broke through in a major way in yesterday's 5-0 drubbing of Cluj in the Europa League, scoring two goals.
While we have to consider the level of the opponent at play, considering how down (or simply uncertain) people were on Mayoral heading into that match, he silenced a lot of doubters with 90 impressive minutes against Cluj. And that performance naturally begged the question: can he do it in the league?
Well, the reasons behind it are horrible, but with Dzeko sidelined for a few weeks, we're about to find out.
Rest up, Edin and get well soon, but don't worry, Borja's got your back!