Yesterday, we found out that Walter Gargano fractured his cheekbone in a training accident and will be out around a month after corrective surgery. Today, we're learning some details about what happened, and... wow, that could have been a lot worse.
Gargano was apparently involved in a violent collision with Dries Mertens during a Napoli training session yesterday morning that resulted in multiple fractures. The impact was described as "truly a very powerful blow," and Gargano reportedly "couldn't even close his mouth properly" after the incident.
The impact and extent of the injury was described by a club doctor as "far more notable than the trauma suffered by [Miguel] Britos a while back against Juventus." If you'll recall, Britos was injured in an in-match collision with a Juventus player, a massive blow that left Britos dazed, bloodied, likely concussed, and out for several weeks with facial injuries. If this was "more notable" than that hit... good grief.
Frankly, by the sound of things Gargano is lucky it didn't end a lot worse for him. A blow to the face like that quite probably left him with a concussion, and while nothing about one has been mentioned, under normal circumstances he should be well recovered of that by the time his fractures are healed. And if such a blow had hit his nose instead of his cheekbone... well, let's just be glad it didn't and move on.
The doctor who commented on Gargano's injuries said that he might be back after three weeks if he uses a carbon fiber mask, a tool used in recent years with such injuries to help disperse the pressure of any impacts away from the damaged area. No matter how long it takes, hopefully Gargano makes a complete recovery and this incident doesn't leave him with any long-term complications.