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Duvan Zapata out four months for Udinese with hip injury after surgery

An injury incurred while scoring the winning goal last weekend will keep Zapata out into 2016 after he underwent surgery to correct it.

Dino Panato/Getty Images

Duvan Zapata is two months into a two-year loan at Udinese, and was playing extraordinarily well. Through six matches, four of which he started, Zapata was the zebrette's leading scorer with three goals, including a vital winner against Bologna last weekend. Now, though, Zapata has to press pause on his season and strong form, because a hip injury suffered while scoring that goal has put him on the shelf.

Zapata suffered what was first termed a "high-grade hip flexor tendon sprain," which basically means it was torn but not all the way through. He was sent to a specialist in Barcelona for further examinations and treatment recommendations, and shortly afterwards the big Colombian went under the knife to repair the damage.

The striker is expected to be out for four months, which is a big blow for Zapata and Udinese. He had been their best and most dangerous attacking player, and now they'll have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to make their side dangerous while he's out. Given that they're only two points clear of the relegation zone and only just broke a four-match losing streak, they need to figure that out quickly.

This shouldn't impact Napoli overmuch. They hold an option to break the two-year loan next summer, but exercising it was never a guarantee, and they'll want to make sure he's fully healthy and playing well again before they decide to. The priority here is getting Zapata fit and back in strong form -- everything else is secondary.

Good luck in your recovery, Duvan. We're all pulling for you.