Giuseppe Rossi could once again be set for a lengthy spell on the side-lines with cruciate knee ligament damage.
The striker, who is currently this season’s top scorer in Serie A, has spent much of the past three years on the side-lines with a series of cruciate ligament injury problems.
However this season it seemed those times were behind him - and that finally he was going to lead the Italian front-line into a World Cup.
But all that hope went up in the air when Rossi went down under a hard challenge from Leandro Rinaudo of Livorno on Sunday - and immediately clutched his historically weak knee.
Immediately it was reported he will only miss a couple of months -but despite this Rossi still travelled back to his second home for a second opinion.
Rossi had his knee treated on a second time by infamous knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman. Considered the ‘best knee guy’ on the planet, and credited with saving the careers of Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Steadman will assess the injury to Rossi first - as Rossi will reportedly not take anyone else’s opinion - according to his agent:
"We will leave for the United States this week and see doctor Steadman, who knows better than anyone Giuseppe's knee. After his first operation, Giuseppe decided to go to professor Steadman and he is the only one that he wants to go and see."
And today the results of that opinion have been announced - and it is not good news for Fiorentina or Italy fans - or indeed those of Rossi as a player.
Steadman has confirmed the injury is more serious than Fiorentina’s medical staff first imagined - as the damage is to the cruciate ligament, not just the medial ligament.
“Now we need to wait three weeks before understanding how best to proceed and above all how long he’ll be out for. Unfortunately any damage to the cruciate ligament was what worried us the most and today continues to worry us. Obviously it’s a difficult situation, above all psychologically and his spirits are very low at the moment.”
Rossi will now wait to see if surgery is necessary to the troublesome joint on his second home of New York - whilst undergoing light rehabilitation work in the process.
But it looks increasingly likely that his World Cup dreams could be diminishing.
image: © LaertesCTB