“No, I don’t know. But you get an idea on the pitch when they say ‘off, off’. There wasn’t time to ask lots of questions there and then and I haven’t spoken to the players or doctors since the game finished, but it seems obvious to me that Tammy [Abraham] has a problem with his shoulder and Paulo [Dybala]’s injury is muscular.”
That was the way Jose Mourinho’s post-match comments opened in Rotterdam just moments after the Giallorossi’s 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord. In that difficult defeat, Mourinho saw his talisman, Dybala, go off injured in the first half after taking a rough tackle. Insult was added to injury when Lorenzo Pellegrini missed a penalty kick before halftime that would’ve put Roma up—a spot kick that normally would’ve been taken by the Argentine.
To make matters worse, struggling striker Tammy Abraham went down in the second half after landing on his shoulder. There was also some concern that Pellegrini’s halftime substitution was also injury related. However, that was quickly brushed off by Mourinho.
Of course, the real concern was Dybala’s issue, as he could be seen in pain on the bench, appearing to rub his groin. The fear was that both he and Abraham would miss considerable time in one of Roma’s most difficult stretches of the season that includes the return leg against Feyenoord, Atalanta, Milan, and Inter.
With Ola Solbakken already ruled out for at least a month, the Giallorossi’s attacking corps—which has been struggling to score all season—suddenly looked even thinner. Not an ideal scenario considering the crowded fixture list and tight top-four race.
However, reports from Corriere dello Sport this morning indicate that both players' injuries are not as severe as initially feared. Dybala underwent tests and there was no muscle strain. The diagnosis is right adductor fatigue. He will miss out on Sunday’s match against Udinese but could return as soon as Thursday’s second leg against Feyenoord.
Abraham, on the other hand, didn’t even undergo tests, which seems to suggest that there was no separation of the shoulder. The injury is just being called a ‘hard knock’ and he should be able to recover rapidly after initial fears of a month or more on the sidelines like Solbakken. A return for Thursday’s match is very likely.
This seems to be the best news possible for both players, given the initial concerns. Check back later for our probable formation against Udinese with these two ruled out. And we’ll provide updates as they become available.