The Roma roster has been hobbled for much of the last month, with injuries striking a number of key players. The side did get a major piece back this week when Nicolo Zaniolo returned to the fold sooner than expected from a dislocated shoulder. Add in Nicola Zalewski returning to full training after just a week out, and things were starting to look up.
That was until the club made this announcement on Saturday evening (CET):
Tests have confirmed that defender Rick Karsdorp has suffered a tear to the meniscus of his left knee.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 17, 2022
The player will undergo surgery in the coming days.
Forza Rick! #ASRoma
An injury of this sort likely means Karsdorp will be on the shelf until at least the World Cup break, like compatriot Gini Wijnaldum. Those two join Max Kumbulla and Stephan El Shaarawy for tomorrow's match against Atalanta at the Olimpico. Additionally, Karsdorp’s prolonged absence proves just how vital Zeki Celik’s transfer was this summer.
Karsdrop’s absence and Zalewski just returning from injury means that Celik and Spinazzola will get the starts on the wings. Lorenzo Pellegrini will drop back into the midfield to make way for Zaniolo. The #22 will play alongside Paulo Dybala in support of Tammy Abraham. That likely leaves one position up for grabs in the central midfield. Mourinho will have to decide between Matic and Cristante to play alongside Pellegrini. I’ll tip Matic, given his more defensive prowess against a dangerous Atalanta side.
(3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Matic, Pellegrini, Celik; Zaniolo, Dybala; Abraham