Another injury setback for VfB Stuttgart sees important midfield cog Orel Mangala sidelined for several weeks.
|Orel Mangala.||Photo: Jeollo/VfB-exklusiv.de/CC-by-SA 3.0|
Seven days after Argentine attacker Nicolas Gonzalez re-aggravated a thigh muscle injury, Europa-league aspirants VfB Stuttgart experience a harsh form of deja vu. The club confirmed on Wednesday that Belgian midfielder Orel Mangala's road back from a similar thigh injury had been derailed by a similar setback.
VfB head-coach Pellegrino Matarazzo was quick to stress that there was no connection between the two coincidental occurrences. In point of fact, both he and sporting director Sven Mislintat did their utmost to lighten the load on their players during the international break by giving the squad extra days off.
"We've been able to, overall, remain healthy throughout the course of the season thus far," Matarazzo said in response to a query regarding injuries, "Our statistics don't show that we've come through any worse than in any other seasons."
Mangala's absence on the pitch has certainly been felt, particularly in the case during the recent Bayern fixture when youngster Naouirou Ahamada simply couldn't cover the type of ground Mangala could have been expected to. The Swabians also struggled to exert midfield control in the most recent match against Bremen.
Club insiders at German footballing magazine Kicker report that Mangala will miss a minimum of three weeks, but may potentially be out for much longer. The injury precluded the 23-year-old, who remains in Roberto Martinez's call-up pool, from representing Belgium during the recent international break.