With international matches and club fixtures forcing more and more players to deal with double duty, you are starting to see the ramifications of that work load as more and more players are suffering serious injuries.
Here is a rundown on some major injury news, as well as other soccer stories of the day:
Essien out for the rest of the year
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is set to miss the remainder of the calendar year after suffering a torn ACL while on international duty with Ghana in a match against Libya.
Essien will be out until March at the earliest, a severe blow to both Chelsea and Ghana. Chelsea is still reeling from the missed attempt at signing Robinho while Ghana must now navigate World Cup qualifying without its best player, which shouldn’t be difficult for the rest of the current round, but could be an issue early in 2009.
Valencia’s Silva sidelined
Euro 2008 star David Silva is facing ankle surgery that could keep him out for three months. Silva, who passed up countless transfer opportunities to stay with Valencia, will decide on surgery in the next two weeks to address chronic inflammation in his right ankle that has dogged him since the summer.
Silva’s absence would put a major dent in Valencia’s hopes of being a serious player in La Liga this season. With Silva and David Villa both back, Valencia had been pegged to be a top four contender in Spain.
Ferdinand looks fit for Croatia
England central defender Rio Ferdinand has traveled with the English national team for its upcoming World Cup qualifier at Croatia after making it through training on Monday. He looks to have overcome neck and back injuries and could start against Croatia in a crucial qualifier that also has plenty of history.
It was Croatia that knocked England out of Euro 2008 qualifying by beating them at Wembley in the final Euro qualifying match. It is now Croatia that stands between England and an automatic berth in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Bayern eyeing Arshavin, City wants Podolski
The transfer window has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean teams still can’t talk transfers.
With the next window just four months away, we are already hearing about some potential January moves, with two new ones emerging on Tuesday. Bayern Munich has its sights set on Russian star Andrei Arshavin while Manchester City is targeting German international and Bayern bench-warmer Lukas Podolski.
That’s all for now. I will be back shortly with some more on tomorrow’s heavy slate of World Cup qualifiers, a piece on the potential USA lineup vs. Trinidad & Tobago, and another Q&A segment so stay tuned for those.
For now, share your thoughts on these and any other soccer stories emerging this morning in the comments section below.