If you've noticed some inconsistent and lethargic play from Lorenzo Pellegrini lately, we may have just discovered the cause—emphasis on may. With Roma coasting on a two-goal lead over Lecce at half-time of Sunday's match at the Olimpico, Paulo Fonseca made what seemed at the time a puzzling decision; removing Pellegrini from the match at half-time. Roma were able to double their lead before all was said and done, but we were left in the dark regarding Pellegrini's early substitution.
Well, my friends, let there be light:
Lorenzo #Pellegrini ha svolto gli esami strumentali, che hanno evidenziato una piccola lesione al flessore della coscia sinistra. Salterà Gent e Cagliari#ASRoma @tempoweb @Teleradiostereo pic.twitter.com/VerlDfrjkj— Filippo Biafora (@Fil_Biafora) February 25, 2020
According to Il Tempo's Filippo Biafora, tests have revealed a strain in Pellegrini's left thigh, with the early speculation suggesting he'll miss both matches this week: Thursday's trip to Belgium against Gent in the Europa League Round of 32 and Sunday's league tilt against Cagliari.
For Pellegrini, this could mark his second extended stay on the sidelines, following his fractured foot from late September, an injury that kept him out of action for 46 days, causing him to miss 10 matches.
It's no secret that Pellegrini is going through a bit of a rough patch, and while we can't unequivocally draw a line between this injury and his dip in form, it certainly will make it that much more difficult for him to rediscover his from from earlier in the season—Pellegrini was lights out from late September through mid-December, racking up eight assists and scoring one goal in all competition.
Without Pellegrini, Paulo Fonseca will likely shift Henrikh Mkhitaryan into the play-making role, which, if he plays anything like he did on Sunday, should enable a smooth transition.
We'll provide updates as they become available, but let's hope Pellegrini can return to 100% as soon as possible.