Monday Kickoff: PSG’s Silva picks up thigh injury; Balotelli banned three matches; and more

ThiagoSilvaPSGsad1-ASMonaco (LeParisian)

By DAN KARELL

Paris Saint-Germain’s depth in defense will be tested in the coming weeks after star defender Thiago Silva picked up a thigh injury on Sunday afternoon.

In just the 15th minute of PSG’s 1-1 draw with AS Monaco, Silva needed to be replaced after picking up the injury while making a header, and with his usual partner Alex still out with his own injury, manager Laurent Blanc was forced to play the inexperienced Marquinhos and Zoumana Camara together for the rest of the match.

“He will have to undergo examinations tomorrow or the day after,” Blanc told Reuters. “It’s obviously a muscular problem so I think we have lost him for a little while.”

It’s unknown exactly how long the Brazilian centerback will be out for, but the injury could rule Silva out for at least a couple of weeks of league matches including consecutive matches against Benfica in the Champions League and league rivals Marseille in Ligue 1 play. (UPDATE: PSG have announced that Silva has been diagnosed with a thigh muscle tear, placing him on the sidelines indefinitely)

Here are some more stories to get your Monday kicked off:

BALOTELLI FACING MULTIPLE-GAMES SUSPENSION FOR LATE RED

Mario Balotelli will want to quickly forget the events of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli.

The AC Milan forward scored a terrific late consolation goal, but missed his first career penalty kick earlier in the match and was shown a red card after the final whistle by the referee after some choice words were sent towards the official.

Reports in Italy state that due to the nature of Balotelli’s expulsion, he has been banned for AC Milan’s next three Serie A matches, which include games against Bologna, Sampdoria, and crucially, an away date with Juventus on October 6.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Milan, Inter’s away support reportedly engaged in racist chanting during their 7-0 victory at Sassuolo, which could lead to a further ban for the Ultras, after already being banned for their next home match against Fiorentina.

BALE DIAGNOSED WITH THIGH FATIGUE

The consequences of Gareth Bale’s long transfer saga are starting to creep up on him in his first few weeks with Real Madrid.

The $132 million summer signing was set to start in Real Madrid’s 4-1 thrashing of Getafe on Sunday, but pulled out after picking up an injury in warmups. After tests on Monday, Real Madrid’s medical team has diagnosed the problem as “thigh fatigue,” likely due to the fact that Bale didn’t have a regular pre-season to get fit, and has been working overtime to get to match fitness with a squad that’s already there.

It’s now another race against time to see if Bale will be fit for the Madrid derby this Saturday, though manager Carlo Ancelotti seemed to like Bale’s chances to play a part in the game against Atletico Madrid.

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t know how long Theo Walcott will be out for, calling the injury “mysterious.” (REPORT)

An Istanbul derby match between Besiktas and Galatasaray was suspended after fans invaded the pitch during 90th minute stoppage time. (REPORT)

Internacional SC’s club president Giovanni Luigi has backed head coach Dunga despite another poor result on Sunday, losing to Portuguesa. (REPORT)

According to reports in England, Paolo Di Canio was fired from Sunderland due to a training ground row on Sunday morning. (REPORT)

Phillip Cocu’s youngsters at PSV showed their mettle and talent with a 4-0 rout of thrice-consecutive Eredivisie champion Ajax. (REPORT)

Gabon have sacked National Team head coach Paulo Duarte for poor results in World Cup qualification. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see PSG’s makeshift defense holding up in time for Alex to return? Do you believe Balotelli merits a long-term suspension for his actions at the end of the match? Do you see Bale starting against Atletico Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Monday Kickoff: PSG’s Silva picks up thigh injury; Balotelli banned three matches; and more

  1. Chaca says:

    Racism, violence , match fixing…… Italian football is such a disgrace.

    • Aaron says:

      way to categorize a whole country based on a few bad eggs. I applaud you

      • Mike E. says:

        A few bad eggs?

        Do you have any idea how many teams have been sanctioned for match fixing in the last decade in the Serie A and Serie B? Dozens. Hundreds of players.

        • Aaron says:

          It has happened in the lower leagues a lot, but it’s getting better. Match fixing goes on all over the world an to single out Italy is unfair

          • Travis in Miami says:

            Comparing Italy to teams/leagues from all over the world is being very kind. Italy is a top footballing nation with one of the most influential leagues on the planet.

            Having Juventus – one to Italy’s biggest most historical teams – so involved with match fixing that they were demoted and stripped of titles, along with with their rivals at the top of the table also being fined and reprimanded is very off putting. The integrity of every result has to be questioned. And to see that since then there have been numerous other “incidents” just makes me shake my head. Why watch that league (except to watch MB)? The very essence of why I watch sporting competitions is in question. It’s like watching MLB with all the steroids. I’d rather watch MLS than Serie A and I’d rather watch Little League than MLB – not saying that MLS = Little League; unfortunately I believe to get to a level of baseball that has some iota of integrity Little league is where you would find it. I have yet to hear of anything that makes me believe that about MLS.

            When Italian football can go 5 years without an match fixing issues perhaps I’ll give it another shot. This includes lower divisions. You don’t see leagues of the stature of Italy having match fixing issues at lower levels (Germany, France, England, Holland, etc..). Until then I will single out Italy above other nations. Italy should be held to higher standards.

        • Aaron says:

          A few bad eggs was more in reference to the racism part, btw

          • fischy says:

            Aahhh. In that case, you’re even more wrong. There are a lot more racists in Italy than there are match-fixers.

          • Joamiq says:

            Racism is so rampant in Italian football it’s unbelievable. There are too many high profile incidents in the past year or two to even recount.

      • FRANK FROM SANTIAGO says:

        Just in case you didn’t read his comment correctly….He’s categorizing “Italian football” not a “whole country”…..a bit of difference. Plus I like italian football but it is what it is.

      • Chaca says:

        Not the whole country but their football is diseased. Every week there is a new scandal.
        How can anybody defend it is beyond me.

  2. Sly says:

    Raise Mamadou Sakho through your academy to full french international. Get moneybags owners then buy great defenders (midfielders and attackers too) who since the brazilians refuse to learn french cannot cooperate in order to you know defend. Sell homegrown child of the club defender to Liverpool. Selfish brazilian star defender gets injured with his ok partner also injured, leaving no experienced defenders to face a tough group and a newly risen Monaco, plus already established Marseilles and Lyon…

    Theres a lesson here.

  3. Travis says:

    mysterious injuries and Arsenal go together so well. i would be surprised if walcott is back in the next month

  4. David M says:

    So, Bale had no time to get himself fit for the season? Too busy following the news?

    • Travis says:

      Wasnt he basically avoiding training/games in order to avoid the risk of getting hurt? Oh the irony

      • Nate Dollars says:

        there are ways to train to substantially minimize the risk of injury (training on your own away from the other players, for one).

        he didn’t even show up; basically, going on strike. sounds like a bit of karma to me.

        • Joamiq says:

          Though, to be fair, he didn’t really go on “strike” til the very end of the saga. Before then he had his mysterious “foot injury” (according to the team, not him).

  5. The Imperative Voice says:

    Ching is retiring from MLS/Dynamo at end of 2013 season.

  6. fischy says:

    Shocking news there about Gabon sacking their coach…I think. Who knew Gabon had a national team?