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Injured Michu returns to Naples

Napoli's wayward Spanish midfielder has returned to the club after spending several months rehabbing in Spain.

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It's been a second straight lost season for Michu thanks to his troublesome ankle, having not played since October because the same problems that cost him so much of last season cropped up again.

The attacking midfielder, on loan from Swansea City, has been in Spain for the last few months rehabbing and trying to get his ankle right again. This is the second season that he's missed a significant stretch of playing time thanks to needing surgery on his right ankle after a so-far seemingly unknown problem has left him dealing with frequent and bothersome pain that's negatively impacted his ability to play, likely also hindering his performance when he was managing to get on the pitch as well.

Michu, who has only played five matches this season, just returned to Naples to finish out the season with the squad. He's still not fit to play and it's doubtful he will be by the end of Napoli's season, but maybe he can at least train a little and work his way back towards playing shape before figuring out what his future holds this summer.

It's actually a little surprising that he'd come back to Napoli -- it's impossible at this point for Michu to trigger the automatic purchase clause in his loan that's based on playing time. He would have to make 12 more starts to lock that in, and there are only four guaranteed matches left for Napoli this season, maybe five if they make the Europa League final. He has no future with the club, so it would seem wiser to return to Swansea and work with the staff there to return to fitness.

Even if his decision seems a little odd, it's at least a good step for Michu to get back to training. His future doesn't lie in Naples and his season has been a bitter disappointment for him, but those criticising him and the club for it are missing the mark. Acquiring him on loan was a worthwhile gamble, as he offered Napoli depth with a high potential of quality at a position they very much needed it at. That Michu got hurt again and underperformed when he played is unfortunate, but that doesn't change that bringing him in was a smart risk to take.

Hopefully his ankle problem is actually fixed now and Michu can resume his career normally. The guy's got talent, it's just a shame it's been squandered like this.