There’s no end to the pain. Right-winger Artur and defensive midfielder Márcio Araújo with muscle fatigue, playmaker Daniel Carvalho and forward Maikon Leite with ruptures in their respective left thighs, forward Luan recovering from a injury to his right thigh, midfielder Wesley on his long way back after his knee surgery. Six right there. Add the casualty from Sunday’s game: Valdivia feeling his left thigh (no you don’t get a prize for correct answer). Seven. Then, the latest shockers: Assunção will indeed need a knee arthroscopy and 30 days of recovery after that. Sounds bad? Try this: left-winger and recent playmaker fill-in Fernandinho tore his left knee apart during Saturday’s practice session, today underwent four hours of surgery and is expected back in 8 MONTHS. That’s nine players out. As you’ve noticed, several of them long-term.
With the above scenario, Scolari might not even have enough athletes to fill the bench tomorrow against Botafogo. Worse: with Valdivia, Carvalho and Fernandinho out, who’s the playmaker tomorrow and in the future? Patrik? Mazinho? A retracted Obina? As Scolari seems reluctant to use players from the youth academy, these could very well be our options. Not that it would do much difference in the South America Cup: the younger prospects are not enlisted in the competition anyway. And with the international transfer window closed and most (decent) first division players having already completed seven games in this year’s Brasileirão…
Palmeiras’ directors think they have found the answer: 22-year-old Jaílton. The midfielder is rumoured to arrive soon at Palmeiras, leaving 2nd division Avaí where he’s currently warming the bench. Yes, that’s right. And it gets even scarier: apparently our directors are ready to cough up US$ 1.2 million for only 50 per cent of the federative rights of the player. Reckless, if it indeed goes through; the deal’s yet to be confirmed and could be nothing but a smoke screen. God, have it be a smoke screen.