Nicolo Zaniolo has injured his knee again | Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Roma midfielder Nicolò Zaniolo has suffered his second anterior cruciate ligament injury in just eight months and is set for another extended period on the sidelines.
The 21-year-old only recently returned after lockdown following six months on the sidelines with another knee injury, playing eight Serie A games and earning himself a spot in the starting lineup for Italy’s Nations League victory over the Netherlands on Monday.
Zaniolo started against the Netherlands | ANP Sport/Getty Images
Unfortunately for Zaniolo, he managed just 42 minutes of action before a seemingly innocuous challenge with Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek left him in agony on the floor, sparking immediate concerns that he may have suffered another significant injury.
He was sent for tests on Tuesday morning to determine the severity of the issue, and according to Sky Sport Italia, Zaniolo’s worst fears were realised as a fresh rupture of his ACL was detected.
The Roma man will undergo surgery on Wednesday to help his recovery but is still facing at least six months on the sidelines to recover.
“For the many people who are asking me how I am, this morning I did the usual visits that showed the rupture of the cruciate ligament of the left knee!” Zaniolo wrote on Instagram. “I thank everyone, both Roma fans and otherwise, for the support…I’ll be back soon!”
Fortunately, this injury is in the opposite knee to the one on which he has just had surgery, so there shouldn’t be any additional complications in that regard.
Barring a miracle, Zaniolo, who is widely seen as one of Italy’s most exciting young players, will finish 2020 with just 12 senior appearances for club and country, so he will be desperate to return as soon as possible to ensure 2021 is a more positive year.
#OTD last year, Nicolò Zaniolo became youngest Italian player in history to score 2 goals in a #UCL match ⚽️⚽️#OnThisDay | @ASRomaEN pic.twitter.com/whLoGNRAp7
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 12, 2020
Roma still see Zaniolo as a core part of their future. 90min understands that they quickly rebuffed an advance from Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer, with new owner Dan Friedkin adamant that his reign will not begin with such a high-profile departure.
A move away from Rome is now obviously highly unlikely for Zaniolo, but if he can rediscover his best form upon his return, the suitors will likely be lining up once more.
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