Monday Kickoff: PSG's Silva picks up thigh injury; Balotelli banned three matches; and more

Monday Kickoff: PSG's Silva picks up thigh injury; Balotelli banned three matches; and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: PSG's Silva picks up thigh injury; Balotelli banned three matches; and more

ThiagoSilvaPSGsad1-ASMonaco (LeParisian)

By DAN KARELL

Paris Saint-Germain’s depth in defense will be tested in the coming weeks after star defender Thiago Silva picked up a thigh injury on Sunday afternoon.

In just the 15th minute of PSG’s 1-1 draw with AS Monaco, Silva needed to be replaced after picking up the injury while making a header, and with his usual partner Alex still out with his own injury, manager Laurent Blanc was forced to play the inexperienced Marquinhos and Zoumana Camara together for the rest of the match.

“He will have to undergo examinations tomorrow or the day after,” Blanc told Reuters. “It’s obviously a muscular problem so I think we have lost him for a little while.”

It’s unknown exactly how long the Brazilian centerback will be out for, but the injury could rule Silva out for at least a couple of weeks of league matches including consecutive matches against Benfica in the Champions League and league rivals Marseille in Ligue 1 play. (UPDATE: PSG have announced that Silva has been diagnosed with a thigh muscle tear, placing him on the sidelines indefinitely)

Here are some more stories to get your Monday kicked off:

BALOTELLI FACING MULTIPLE-GAMES SUSPENSION FOR LATE RED

Mario Balotelli will want to quickly forget the events of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli.

The AC Milan forward scored a terrific late consolation goal, but missed his first career penalty kick earlier in the match and was shown a red card after the final whistle by the referee after some choice words were sent towards the official.

Reports in Italy state that due to the nature of Balotelli’s expulsion, he has been banned for AC Milan’s next three Serie A matches, which include games against Bologna, Sampdoria, and crucially, an away date with Juventus on October 6.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Milan, Inter’s away support reportedly engaged in racist chanting during their 7-0 victory at Sassuolo, which could lead to a further ban for the Ultras, after already being banned for their next home match against Fiorentina.

BALE DIAGNOSED WITH THIGH FATIGUE

The consequences of Gareth Bale’s long transfer saga are starting to creep up on him in his first few weeks with Real Madrid.

The $132 million summer signing was set to start in Real Madrid’s 4-1 thrashing of Getafe on Sunday, but pulled out after picking up an injury in warmups. After tests on Monday, Real Madrid’s medical team has diagnosed the problem as “thigh fatigue,” likely due to the fact that Bale didn’t have a regular pre-season to get fit, and has been working overtime to get to match fitness with a squad that’s already there.

It’s now another race against time to see if Bale will be fit for the Madrid derby this Saturday, though manager Carlo Ancelotti seemed to like Bale’s chances to play a part in the game against Atletico Madrid.

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t know how long Theo Walcott will be out for, calling the injury “mysterious.” (REPORT)

An Istanbul derby match between Besiktas and Galatasaray was suspended after fans invaded the pitch during 90th minute stoppage time. (REPORT)

Internacional SC’s club president Giovanni Luigi has backed head coach Dunga despite another poor result on Sunday, losing to Portuguesa. (REPORT)

According to reports in England, Paolo Di Canio was fired from Sunderland due to a training ground row on Sunday morning. (REPORT)

Phillip Cocu’s youngsters at PSV showed their mettle and talent with a 4-0 rout of thrice-consecutive Eredivisie champion Ajax. (REPORT)

Gabon have sacked National Team head coach Paulo Duarte for poor results in World Cup qualification. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see PSG’s makeshift defense holding up in time for Alex to return? Do you believe Balotelli merits a long-term suspension for his actions at the end of the match? Do you see Bale starting against Atletico Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

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