Twelve minutes into a big match between Napoli and AS Roma, an injury with potential World Cup implications took the thunder from the final score.
It would end up being a double blow for Roma, as midfielder Kevin Strootman was carted off after 12 minutes and i Lupi lost the match 1-0.
Strootman hurt his right knee playing for the Netherlands against France on Wednesday, but this injury came to his left knee. He left San Paolo on crutches and Roma’s medical staff says it’s a sprain, and he’ll be evaluated for further damage in the coming days.
In his first season in Italy, Strootman has scored six times in 24 matches after a distinguished Eredivisie career with PSV, FC Utrecht and Sparta Rotterdam. He’s been capped 25 times for Netherlands since 2011.
In terms of club implications, this is the club that was able to offload Michael Bradley to MLS thanks to a significant amount of depth in the midfield, but now Strootman is in doubt and Daniele De Rossi is serving a three-match Serie A suspension. It could leave transfer pickup Radja Nainggolan as the focus of the engine room for a few weeks.