Vinicius Jr. injury: Real Madrid star sidelined two months with ankle ligament tear, and here's what it means
The Brazilian youngster is going to miss nearly the rest of the league season for Real Madrid
Real Madrid's teen star Vinicius Junior was diagnosed with a ligament tear in his right ankle, the club announced on Wednesday. The injury came during a shot on Tuesday in Real Madrid's Champions League elimination at home to Ajax. Marca reports that he will end up missing two months of action.
It's been a tough time for Los Blancos after being eliminated from the Copa del Rey and pretty much knocked out of the race in La Liga following back-to-back losses to Barcelona. Add on the Champions League embarrassment and the injury to the young Brazilian star, and it's hard to envision them having a worse week.
The injury is also terrible timing for the youngster, who just got his first call-up to the Brazilian national team but will miss the matches later this month. Here's what it means for the player, the club and the national team:
This might not be a serious injury
Well, it could be worse. It's much better that this happen now than right before the Copa America or before some big final for Los Blancos. It stinks for him to miss time, but it's not a super serious injury, which is good. It's unfortunate that he'll miss the call-up with the Brazilian national team, but his health is the priority here. He has his entire future ahead of him, and this seems just like a minor setback.
He's expected to be fit by mid-May.
No reason for Real to rush him back
Real Madrid faces Real Valladolid without the youngster's services on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. ET -- which you can stream fuboTV (Try for free). It's a game that Los Blancos should easily have the upper hand. On the grand scheme of things, Real sits third with 48 points and 12 behind first place Barcelona. The team will likely finish the 2018-19 campaign trophy-less, barring a miraculous turn of events in La Liga. All they need to do is limp to the finish line and secure a top-four spot in the table, which would give them a soit in next season's Champions League. It makes sense not to rush this kid back and let him rest for the remainder of the season. While suiting Vinicius up would bring excitement back into the team when it really needs it, his health and future need to be the priority.
Copa America status in jeopardy?
Brazil coach Tite obviously likes what he sees in the player, and what's not to like? He's been incredibly impressive in his first season for Real, especially when pressured along the boundary by a defender. He has had trouble scoring, but he hasn't had any issue creating. For an 18-year-old, he's ready to shine on every level right now.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts his potential participation at the Copa America this summer, which Brazil is hosting. He'll surely be one of the hottest names leading up to the tourney. Assuming Tite brings about five forwards to the Copa America, it's pretty safe to pen in places for Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus. From there, Vinicius joins a group including Everton (Gremio), Richarlson (Everton) for potentially two or three more spots. If healthy, and that's a big if with injuries like these, he'll likely still be in the team this summer in what could be his coming out party on the international level.
You can watch La Liga and Copa America action on fuboTV (Try for free).
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