Napoli fans all gasped as one during the Euro 2016 qualifier between Italy and Malta on Thursday. That moment of fear came in the second half when Manolo Gabbadini pulled up, clutched at his left leg, and spent the next several minutes hobbling around before being subbed off.
Even though he hasn't played much yet for Napoli this season, with one substitute appearance in the team's two matches, pretty much every Napoli fan recognizes how important Gabbiadini is to the team. The versatile forward is highly skilled and tremendously impactful, as witnessed by his ten goals scored for Napoli in half a season after joining from Sampdoria in January. If he's out for a long time, that's only bad news for Napoli.
Fortunately, you can now release that breath you've been holding: Manolo Gabbiadini is going to be fine.
Napoli have confirmed that he had a slight problem with his calf, and that it's not going to be a long-term problem. In fact, Gabbiadini is expected to be available to play for Italy on Sunday when they take on Bulgaria in Palermo in another European Championship qualifier. It's unlikely that Gabbiadini starts the match, considering he's not at 100%, but him just being available is a huge relief considering that he had to leave the Malta match injured.
Now let's just hope that no other international injuries crop up. Maybe other players can come down with Gonzalo Higuain's fever and come home early. That's not too much to hope for, right?