World Football Injury Tracker: Latest Updates on Thiago Silva, David Luiz, More
Injuries are a problem that every team and player has to deal with at some stage, but the truth is that a period without a key player can wreck a season for squads with little depth.
For the individual involved it can also cost the chance at competing on the international stage, winning a new contract or being involved in a run toward a trophy.
Despite the improvements in sports science, preventative approaches to injuries and the standard of fitness in general going up, there is little that players or physios can do to prevent impact injuries or ligament damage after awkward landings.
Here are the latest updates on some of the biggest injuries around Europe, including Thiago Silva and David Luiz.
Darren Fletcher, Manchester United
After a long-running battle with illness rather than injury, it has been announced that Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the remainder of this season after undergoing surgery (via BBC).
Fletcher has suffered from bowel disease chronic ulceritis since late 2011 and despite returning to the United team this season for a period, he has now had to take his second break in an attempt to return to full fitness.
The energetic central player has featured three times in the Premier League and five times in the Champions League this term.
Holger Badstuber, Bayern Munich
Another who will miss the rest of the season is Bayern Munich left-back Holger Badstuber.
The German defender suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament in December and, after having surgery, is very unlikely to return to fitness before the end of the campaign (via bundesliga.com).
With Pep Guardiola set to join the league leaders in the summer, Badstuber will be hoping to return in time to join the new boss for preseason training and stake his claim to win back his position in the team.
Prior to receiving the injury, Badstuber had completed 93 percent of his passes from his 12 league appearances.
David Luiz, Chelsea
Having missed Chelsea's big Premier League clash against Arsenal on Sunday, it was initially feared that David Luiz might be set for a spell on the sidelines.
However his ankle injury is only a minor one and he has travelled with the squad for the Capital One Cup semifinal second leg against Swansea City, which takes place on Wednesday (via ChelseaFC.com).
Chelsea are trailing 2-0 from the first leg, which was covered live here on Bleacher Report.
Luiz has been a regular in the Blues' side this season, playing 27 times in all competitions. He has mainly been utilised as a central defender—but over the past two months has played more often in midfield.
Thiago Silva, PSG
Paris St-Germain's main man in defence is missing in action for several weeks, though it's not thought to be a long-term injury.
Thiago Silva suffered a thigh strain midway through January in a Ligue 1 match and will be sidelined for around three weeks (via Sky Sports).
The Brazilian defender ranks in the top five for his club this season in shots blocked, interceptions, clearances and tackles made.
Meanwhile, PSG's opponents in the cup, Toulouse, have suspended Moussa Sissoko after an ongoing row over his potential transfer away from the club (via Sky Sports).
Simone Pepe, Juventus
Off to Italy and Serie A now, where Juventus winger Simone Pepe sees his injury-hit campaign continue to frustrate him.
The Italian international has missed most of the season through injury and most recently suffered a recurrence of a thigh tear, which has sidelined him since December.
Juventus confirmed he would need a "period of complete rest," but stopped short of naming a date for his return (via ESPN).
As per transfermarkt.co.uk, he is not expected to return before the start of February. Pepe has played just once in Serie A this season as a substitute.
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