Bundesliga News

Rolfes expresses surprise, delight, and concern over surprise Palacios comeback

By Peter Vice

Bayer 04 Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes couldn't help but reveal some slight apprehension about midfielder Exequiel Palacios' surprise return to the Argentine national team. 

After the 22-year-old suffered a nasty injury on international duty in November, the 39-year-old executive had some concern that Palacios might have been rushed back too soon. 

Simon Rolfes.
Simon Rolfes.Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0

A serious muscle tear in his right abductor prematurely ended Argentine international Exequiel Palacios' club campaign in mid May. At the time, it seemed clear that the young midfielder would be out at least eight weeks. Germany's red company team officially declared him out for this summer's Copa America on May 14th.

A small medical miracle has occurred as Palacios is already back in action for La Albicleste. Palacios appeared as a substitute in a recent World Cup Qualifier and is expected to be ready to start in time for the continental championship.

"I am surprised that it went so quickly with Palas' comeback," Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes told Kicker reporter Stefan von Nocks "I'm delighted for him. I assume it's in the player's best interest that he's playing again now."

Pressed about the risk of re-injury posed by such a rapid rehab process, Rolfes did acknowledge that this was a concern. The B04 executive emphasized again the time frame; a comeback that was supposed to take eight weeks was completed in under three. Regarding the risks posed, Rolfes could only say "it's difficult to asses from here [Germany]".

Rolfes did take care to emphasize that, when Palacios last incurred injury on international duty, the AFA medical staff did a solid professional job of assessing and rehabbing the player.

"Back then, Pala came back in good shape," he emphasized.

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