Six months after losing Nicolo Zaniolo to a torn ACL while on international duty with Italy, the international break injury bug has sunk its teeth into Roma once again. Marash Kumbulla, Roma's 21-year-old center-back and Albanian international, played all 90 minutes in his country's World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Thursday but was quickly whisked away for tests on his knee after he reported discomfort in the joint after the match.
While Kumbulla's entourage was quick to dismiss concerns of a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, the news out of Albania isn't all positive today:
According to the Corriere dello Sport's Jacopo Aliprandi, Kumbulla has sustained an injured meniscus and will likely miss the remainder of Roma's 2020-2021 season. However, much like Amadou Diawara before him, Kumbulla will opt for a more conservative recovery route, utilizing rest and physical therapy rather than surgery.
Despite that more cautious program, Kumbulla will still miss upwards of three months while he recovers, effectively erasing the remainder of his debut season with Roma. And it's not that often that I can directly relate to a Roma player, but as one who is currently dealing with the exact same injury and following the exact same therapeutic program, I can tell you that, while it's not painful or as serious as a ruptured ligament, it requires a great deal of patience and commitment to the PT routine.
Either way, when you couple this injury with Chris Smalling's continued ailments, Roma's defense is suddenly paper-thin, meaning we'll likely see a lot more of Bryan Cristante at center-back and perhaps even the reemergence of Federico Fazio.
Rest up, Max!