The simultaneously interminable and break-neck pace of 2020 continues as we head into the 49th week of this indescribable year. With the first COVID-19 vaccine administered today in the United Kingdom, it may not be long before a sense of normality returns, but please stay vigilant in your COVID precautions as we head into 2021; there's light at the tunnel but we're not there just yet.
Speaking of light at the end of the tunnel, we'll start this whip ‘round the Romaverse with a few injury updates.
Chris Smalling Set for Sofia Return?
The CdS provides with a trio of Roma-related injury updates, the best of which may see Chris Smalling return to action Thursday against CSKA Sofia in Roma's final Europa League group match. After an arduous transfer negotiation this summer, Smalling's long awaited return to Roma was interrupted by left knee issues that have caused the Englishman to miss Roma's last eight matches. But with Smalling returning to group training, folks around Trigoria are optimistic that he'll make his return against CSKA Sofia on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the news is a bit more ambiguous as Jordan Veretout and Gianluca Mancini could probably play Thursday if the match mattered one iota, but will likely be held out until Sunday's fixture against Bologna.
Pellegrini's Ankle Free of Fractures or Ligament Injuries
Between his role in Edin Dzeko's foul that negated Roma's first half goal against Sassuolo, his Instagram post after the match, a gender reveal for his second child (a boy) and rumors of an impending contract renewal, it's been busy 48 hours for Pellegrini.
But lost amid all that hoopla was a potential injury to his right ankle, which was crushed like a walnut by Pedro Obiang over the weekend. Fortunately, an ultrasound revealed no structural damage to the ligaments or bones, only inflammation (per Il Tempo). Ankles are notoriously slow healing, so it's certainly something to keep an eye on but the 24-year-old isn't expected to miss any serious time.
Fabio Maresca to Face Punishment for Weekend Officiating Errors
We'll turn back to the Corriere dello Sport for this update. After a controversy-filled afternoon at the Stadio Olimpico, match official Fabio Maresca will face discipline for his performance in Sunday's Roma vs. Sassuolo fixture. Per the CdS, Maresca will be suspended for at least one matchday due to the errors he made in Roma's fixture, as well as the conduct with which he comported himself during that match.
Fonseca & Pedro Receive One-Match Bans
No shock here. After drawing the ire of Maresca on Sunday, both Paulo Fonseca and Pedro will receive one match bans after being sent off in Roma's draw with Sassuolo. For Fonseca's transgressions, he'll also be €10,000 lighter in the wallet, which will put a significant dent into his Peaky Blinders hat budget.
We'll pass along any updates as they become available, but it's looking like a relatively quiet day on the Roma front.