This week’s update, sees Dimitar Berbatov fall languidly, once again, firmly on the Scout’s physio plinth, landing a further body-blow to Fantasy Managers, this time squarely in the ribs.
Commenting after the Reading match Martin Jol confessed that Dimitar Berbatov received a pain-killing injection at half-time to facilitate his second half appearance:
“He needed an injection to play in the second half, and showed a lot of character. We need to have a look at it because maybe it’s broken, but it was very painful”
Fuelled with adrenaline from an enthralling encounter and with the character of his team in mind, this is perhaps a slight over-reaction from Jol, as it would be very unlikely, even reckless, for a medic to allow a player to carry on with a suspected, even moderately, fractured rib. To do so, risks further complications, indeed, a punctured lung form an awkward fall or a mis-placed elbow or knee would not be unusual during a football match of the intensity of the Premier League. Of course some football clubs are more ruthless than others, but, even so, a fractured rib would usually exhibit pain and swelling to such an extent that would render them unable to continue regardless of any interventions.
Additionally, it must also be noted that segments of the Thoracic Spine and the surrounding nerve and soft-tissue can often refer pain to present classic symptoms of a cracked rib, so too can a pneumothorax or respiratory muscle damage. These points cast further doubt on such a swift diagnosis before an x-ray could be administered.
On a final note, reports today suggest that Berbatov has the desire and appetite to continue playing until he is 40. The timing of this statement is interesting. Berbatov comes across as an introverted, sensitive soul and such sunny optimism is not usually the mind-set of a player in the middle of an injury. Anyway, if it were fractured and treated Berbatov would be sporting a fetching, compressive corset type garment to facilitate healing and, on recent form, surely this photograph would have found its way onto his Facebook page by now.
Personally, I feel Berbatov suffered a minor soft-tissue injury, which, in all likelihood, will be resolved by the weekend, which should see him grace the pitch at Craven Cottage, as Everton roll up, with the insouciant grace and style to which we have become accustomed.