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Napoli dodge bullet with injury to Lazio star Felipe Anderson

Lazio's emerging star attacker is out for three weeks, just in time for them to play Napoli this weekend.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

One of the hottest and most in-form players in Italy since early December has been Lazio's Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian attacking mid has gone from vaguely disappointing to a budding godling in the past six weeks, scoring five goals and five assists while helping Lazio surge to third in the table. You can pretty much guarantee that Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff were sweating a little trying to figure out how to slow him down.

Now they don't have to worry.

Anderson suffered a sprained knee in training this week, sidelining him for at least the next three weeks. The news is a blow to the 21 year old, who was in the midst of the best form of his life, but is a huge boon to Napoli. It's not as though Lazio are toothless without him, Antonio Candreva and Stefano Mauri still demand close attention, but it takes their hottest and, arguably, most purely talented player off the board.

With Lazio one point ahead of Napoli in third place and this being the last match of the first half of the season, it's vital that the partenopei find a way to win. Not having to deal with a red-hot Anderson will make that task significantly easier, especially with Ivan Strinic likely to be making his first start at left back for Napoli at less than total health since he's still dealing with a rib issue.