World Football Injury Tracker: Week of April 8 Report
As the weekend rolls around once more, it's time for our usual look at how players and teams are faring around the game in terms of injuries, recuperations and more.
Much of the midweek spotlight was on Barcelona's Leo Messi, who was on the bench after a hamstring injury for their Champions League tie against PSG. Messi came on later, but is still expected to sit out league games between now and the semifinals (via ESPN).
It's more than just Messi struggling for fitness over the past week, though, so let's take a look at who else is hoping to make weekend fixtures.
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We start our roundup in the Italian Serie A, where Inter Milan are hoping to have two forwards back in the coming weeks. Rodrigo Palacio and Antonio Cassano are both sidelined at present, along with teammates Joel Obi and Gabi Mudingayi who are longer-term absentees.
Pescara are waiting on four players to return, possibly in time for the weekend. Antonio Balzano, Gaetano D'Agostino, Uros Cosic and Luciano Zauri are all within a week of comebacks.
Looking further ahead, Genoa's Cesare Bovo (muscle injury), Fiorentina's Mati Fernandez and Torino duo Valter Birsa and Matteo Brighi are all looking to recover by the end of April. There are a long string of players out with long-term injuries who are unlikely to return before the end of the present campaign, including Diego Milito (Inter, ACL), Marco Rossi (Genoa, knee) and Nigel de Jong (AC Milan, Achilles tendon).
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Into the English Premier League next and most of the remaining injuries are longer term issues.
Liverpool have seen duo Martin Kelly and Fabio Borini return to light training, but both may not see first-team action until the beginning of next season. Joe Allen is also out until near the end of the current campaign after shoulder surgery.
Aston Villa are still waiting on both Marc Albrighton and Gary Gardner to recover full fitness, with the former possibly returning this month.
John Ruddy, Norwich City's goalkeeper, could make a welcome return within the next week or so, with Newcastle's Ryan Taylor also in the final stages of recovery from an ACL injury.
Out until summer are Zoltan Gera (WBA, ACL), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, ankle), Abou Diaby (Arsenal, ACL) and Ivan Ramis (Wigan, ACL).
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Over to Germany and the Bundesliga, where several top players are set to miss the season run-in.
Bayern Munich duo Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber are unlikely to play any further part in the campaign, as are Kevin Trapp of Frankfurt, Marcus Berg of Hamburger SV and Eren Derdiyok of Hoffenheim. Leon Andreasen is also a doubt, though is close to a return to light training after an ACL injury at Hannover.
Nuremburg's Timo Gebhart and Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos have spent considerable time on the sidelines already and will hope to return before the end of this month, though no timescale has been set for their return.
Greuther Furth's Michael Hefele is close to a comeback after a fractured foot, but teammate Zoltan Stieber is a longer-term absentee.
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We finish our roundup in Spain and La Liga, where league leaders Barcelona have issues in defence.
Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano are both absent until May at the earliest, while Leo Messi is likely to miss at least one league game.
Real Zaragoza are missing Ivan Obradovic (ACL) but he is close to a comeback, while Franco Zuculini (ACL) and Javi Alamo (ACL) are definitely out until next season. Granada hope to have Iriney and Hassan Yebda back before the end of the campaign, while Fran Rico is also out longer term.
Betis' Damien Perquis suffered an injury at the end of March so is still awaiting a date to return, while Sociedad's Liassine Cadamuro is in a similar situation.
Player data from transfermarkt.co.uk