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Zuniga suffers sprained knee

Another knee injury is what's sidelined Camilo Zuniga the past two matches, and it looks like he'll be out awhile longer.

Jamie McDonald

Knee injuries are the bane of any athlete's existence. They tend to range from nagging annoyance to "hey you're out for the year and probably part of next season too." They're impossible to predict, and once you've had one or two, you tend to have more and more as the years go on.

Camilo Zuniga is definitely familiar with knee injuries, as he's spent a lot of time on the sidelines because of them. He missed almost all of last season because of a knee injury that just wouldn't heal, but this season it seemed like maybe, just maybe, he had shaken his curse for awhile and would be OK for a time.

So much for that.

Zuniga missed Napoli's last two matches for unspecified reasons, and now we know why: the club announced that he has (another) knee sprain, likely suffered in training last week. This is a big setback not just for Zuniga, but for the club as well, as the wingback had been a regular on Napoli's back line at both wide positions when he's been healthy this season.

While the club hasn't indicated a timeline for Zuniga's potential return yet, most knee sprains require at least a month to heal properly. Given Zuniga's history, adding another two weeks to the estimate wouldn't be out of line.

With Rafa Benitez not seeming to trust Faouzi Ghoulam much for some bizarre reason, and Christian Maggio's form continuing to suffer the ravages of time, losing Zuniga's quality and versatility is a big, big blow for Napoli. That leaves Giandomenico Mesto as the only fullback on the roster who can play both sides, and he's much more limited on the left. A pair of center backs, Henrique Buss and Miguel Britos, are likely to continue as the primary fullback reserves as they've been this season, though that's not something that exactly inspires confidence.

Get well soon, Camilo. We'll miss you.