There were times in the second half yesterday when it seemed like playing Jonathan De Guzman would be a good substitution to make against Sampdoria. His drive through the middle of the pitch and hot hand of form could have been extremely useful in a match that Napoli too often struggled to get fully in to. So when he never stepped off the bench, many wondered why.
Well, now we know.
Speaking after the match, Rafa Benitez mentioned that De Guzman had a strained neck, making him only available in case of emergency. He didn't say how long this would effect De Guzman for, though injuries like that typically just need a few days' rest to get things feeling alright again.
Fortunately, Napoli don't play again until Sunday, with no midweek fixture on the docket this week as Coppa Italia qualifying resumes. Napoli had better enjoy that rest while they can, though; they have five matches in the next 20 days before getting to actually enjoy the winter break in Serie A, including the Suppercoppa Italia against Juventus on the 22nd in Qatar.