If it feels like we've done nothing but cover injuries in 2023, there's a good reason for that: Roma has had a lot of them. From Chris Smalling to Lorenzo Pellegrini to Andrea Belotti to Rick Karsdorp to Georginio Wijnaldum to Paulo Dybala, Roma's medical team has been put through their paces this season.
While the spate of injuries remains a concern, more often than not, Roma's walking wounded have returned to action sooner than expected. And with the Giallorossi entering perhaps the most critical phase of the season, José Mourinho will need all hands on deck as the capital club vies with Lazio, Juventus (who recently had their 15-point deduction for financial irregularities reversed), Inter Milan, and AC Milan for Italy's final three Champions League places.
And we might as well add 7th place Atalanta to that list. After embarrassing Roma in Bergamo in a 3-1 laugher on Monday, Gian Piero Gasperini's bunch could be a force to reckon with as we head into the season's final month.
The defeat was already a crushing blow, but Roma fans were left in utter shock as they witnessed Dybala writhing in agony after Atalanta defender José Luis Palomino went studs up on La Joya's ankle in the 86th minute. Given how late the injury occurred, Dybala had no choice but to soldier on through stoppage time. With a noticeable limp and a grimace plastered on his face, we had no choice but to fear the worst: that Dybala suffered a broken ankle or possible ligament damage.
Well, fear no more...sort of. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, MRIs revealed no structural damage on Dybala's ankle or significant swelling. While Roma was lucky to avoid the worst-case scenario, Dybala is still walking around with a significantly bruised ankle and isn't likely to start Sunday's match against Milan.
However, according to the GdS and others, Dybala may make Mourinho's squad list for Sunday's fixture, putting him in line for a substitute appearance. With so many critical fixtures ahead, Mourinho may choose to rest Dybala completely, but a victory over the Rossoneri would put Roma squarely back in the Champions League equation.