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Higuain sits out training ahead of Empoli match

Today's training session did not include Gonzalo Higuain, who sat out as a precaution.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

As Napoli prepare for this weekend's match against lowly Empoli, they've had to deal with some rather inclement weather along the way. They've done that rather admirably so far, but today it meant not having Gonzalo Higuain in training.

Higuain started this season slowly, but has rocketed in to form of late, with seven goals in his last five matches. He's been every bit as vital to Napoli this season as he was a year ago, so it's understandable for Napoli to be nervous over him missing out on training.

Fortunately, his absence was described as merely "precautionary." It's likely that Higuain is carrying some kind of strain or other minor knock that would make practicing under the current weather conditions less than ideal, so sitting him out for light work on the side is the smart play. You don't want to risk him having to miss significant time because he slipped in a puddle, after all.

It also shouldn't be surprising if Pipita plays a little bit less often this month. Higuain has only gotten a few breaks this season, but Napoli have a few good opportunities to give him some extra rest ahead of the winter break. With matches against Empoli, Slovan Bratislava, and Parma representing three of Napoli's next four matches, don't be shocked if he sits out two of them in favor of Duvan Zapata, who needs more playing time anyways.