Thursday Kickoff: Ibrahimovic set for layoff; Ancelotti plays down Ronaldo substitution; and more

ZlatanIbrahimovicPSG1-BayerLeverkusenUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Paris Saint-Germain secured an historic victory on Wednesday evening, but lost their talismanic striker in the process.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was substituted in the 68th minute of PSG’s 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory against Chelsea after feeling discomfort in his right leg, and the Swedish international is now awaiting results of his medical scans. PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi speculated that he could miss “a few weeks.”

“It’s a muscular problem. (Ibrahimovic) will see the doctor tomorrow (Thursday),” PSG manager Laurent Blanc said following the match. ”He wanted to continue but that wasn’t reasonable. I hope he is back as soon as possible because we need him.”

“I’m not sure whether it’s his calf or his hamstring. We’ll have to look, but it will require a certain amount of rest.”

Ibrahimovic was largely ineffective against Chelsea but has been a key player for PSG ever since joining the club in August 2012 from AC Milan for a reported €21 million. With PSG well on their way to their second straight Ligue 1 title, Ibrahimovic has scored 25 times in 30 league games, and another 15 goals in cup competitions.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

ANCELOTTI ALLAYS FEARS OVER RONALDO INJURY

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has a message for fans worried over Cristiano Ronaldo’s health: He’ll be fine.

With ten minutes remaining in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid fans watched with worry etched in their faces as Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted and limped off the field. Ancelotti revealed that the club knew that Ronaldo has been carrying a slight knee injury and that he was taken off only as a precaution.

“It’s a slight knee problem and I’m not worried about it,” Ancelotti told reporters at the Santiago Bernabeu following the match. “If the niggle, which at the moment is not a worry, continues we can rest him, but the player is relaxed. I took him off 10 minutes before the end and there is no reason to worry.”

Ronaldo scored his 14th Champions League goal of the season in the 3-0 victory, extending his lead in the competition by four goals over Ibrahimovic in second place.

QUICK KICKS

AS Roma remained well ahead in second place in Serie A after defeating Parma, 4-2, with Francesco Totti scoring his seventh league goal of the season. (REPORT)

Germany and Fiorentina forward Mario Gomez believes he’ll be 100 percent fit for the World Cup, despite suffering two knee injuries this season. (REPORT)

A former Zenit St. Petersburg player has claimed that he payed referees to fix matches. (REPORT)

Former Mexico National Team boss Ricardo La Volpe was introduced as Chivas’ new manager after sacking Jose Luis Real following the Goat’s 4-0 defeat in the Superclasico against Club America. (REPORT)

Turkish club Besiktas is targeting out-of-favor Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott. (REPORT)

Ajax will try to take advantage of their global brand with an end-of-season trip to Indonesia in May. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? How big of an impact will Ibrahimovic’s loss be for PSG? Do you believe Ronaldo can overcome his knee issue ahead of the World Cup? Should Real Madrid shut him down for the second leg?

Share your thoughts below.

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5 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Ibrahimovic set for layoff; Ancelotti plays down Ronaldo substitution; and more

  1. Snack Time says:

    I hope Mario Gomez rushes his knee back. If he is at 100%, we have no one who can go toe-to-toe with him playing up top for Germany. Would be great to see him at 80% and starting. That would give us a fighting chance of being able to manage him.

    • SilverRey says:

      Why stop there? If you’re going down that road add Ronaldo and Essien to your list. They both picked up knocks recently.

      I’d rather see all those guys out on the pitch in good health. I’m still of the mind if you’re going to be the best then beat the best. Even if we don’t beat them, it sets the bar higher for 2018.

  2. dude1 says:

    PSG are doomed without Ibra. All they have for backup is Edinson Cavani….. wow, that’s really good backup.