World Football Injury Tracker: Week of March 25 Report
After the conclusion of the most recent international break, clubs all around the globe will be anxiously awaiting the returns of their top players, hoping that they suffered no ill-effects to the demands of World Cup qualifiers and extensive travel.
Top-flight domestic league action resumes worldwide this weekend, and with two weeks since the last of such action, everybody—managers, fans, the players themselves—want the best possible XI to be on the field.
Here's our latest rundown on the injuries and recoveries that players are going through from the game's major leagues.
Italian Serie A
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In the Italian Serie A, Inter Milan have been hard-hit by injuries of late, but they will be hoping for a four-fold boost this weekend.
Ricky Alvarez has been hampered by a muscle strain but looks ready to return to first-team duty, while fellow midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic should also be fit after a minor muscle issue. In defence, fellow teammates Matias Silvestre and Yuto Nagatomo are also close to returns.
Diego Milito, Gaby Mudingayi, Joel Obi and Luca Castellazzi are all long-term absentees.
Abdoulaye Konko of Lazio is still two weeks away from a possible return and Miroslav Klose will hope to return in the next week.
For this weekend's fixtures, Giampiero Pinzi of Udinese hopes to be fit after a hamstring strain, but the games will come too soon for Roma duo Miralem Pjanic and Leandro Castan.
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Over into the top flight in Germany and the Bundesliga now, where Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and Freiburg are all awaiting good news on the returns of key midfielders.
Cedric Makiadi has missed the past three weeks for Freiburg with a knee ligament strain, Clemens Fritz of Bremen has been absent with a cheekbone fracture for the same period of time and Wolfsburg's Ivan Perisic has an injury similar to that of Makiadi. All three are pressing for a recovery shortly.
Of slightly longer timescales for returns are Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and Hannover's versatile Leon Andreasen. It is possible that both return before the end of the season, though they may only make the last handful of fixtures.
Sebastian Freis (Freiburg), Johannes Geis (Greuther Furth) and Mats Hummels (Dortmund) are all looking to return in the coming days.
English Premier League
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Now into the English Premier League where a whole host of stars are hoping to return to play a part this weekend.
No less than 18 senior players are scheduled for returns within the coming days; whether or not they all immediately take part in a competitive league game is another matter.
At the top end of the Premier League, Manchester United are looking for returns from Paul Scholes (knee), Phil Jones (ankle) and Nani (hamstring); rivals City are waiting on news from Maicon (knee) and Sergio Aguero (knee), and Micah Richards (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring) are still a week or two away from returns.
Elsewhere, Swansea duo Kenny Agustien (ankle) and Neil Taylor (broken ankle) are close to comebacks, with the same true for David Vaughan of Sunderland (groin), Mathieu Debuchy of Newcastle (hamstring), Alex Tettey of Norwich (knee) and Jack Wilshere of Arsenal (ankle).
Aston Villa hope to see returns for Darren Bent and Karim El Ahmadi from ankle knocks.
Spanish Primera Division
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Finally, we end our tour of treatment rooms over in Spain's La Liga, the major league with perhaps the fewest injuries to worry about at present.
Barcelona are currently without defensive duo Adriano and Carles Puyol, and neither of them are likely to return in the next month.
Longer-term absentees include Piotr Trochowski (Sevilla), Rodri (Rayo), Franco Zuculini (Zaragoza), Sisi (Osasuna) and Samuel Llorca (Celta Vigo), all of whom will be aiming for a return during preseason. Granada's Ivan Obradovic is still in rehab after an ACL injury, but both he and teammate Iriney hope to make a return during April.
The only near-term returnee to fitness is possibly Joao Victor, but with the Mallorca midfielder returning from a long-term ACL injury, it is unlikely he will be rushed back quickly.
Player injury data from transfermarkt.co.uk