Mar 18, 2014, 9:43 PM EDT
Jesé’s play since the middle of the season had earned the 21-year-old consideration for this summer’s World Cup. Now those hopes are on the back burner. According to a statement released on Real Madrid’s website, the aspiring Spanish international tore an anterior cruciate ligament in today’s UEFA Champions League match against Schalke, an injury that should cost the young attacker the rest of the season.
The injury occurred near the fifth minute of today’s match in Madrid, with a tackle in El Real’s right attacking corner forcing Jesé to be stretchered from the field. Though he briefly returned, Gareth Bale was soon summoned to take his place, with the star of last summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup substituted after seven minutes.
In his first full season with Real Madrid’s senior team, Jesé had scored eight goals in 31 all-competition appearances, a record that built on the five goals in five games he registered at the 2013 U-20 World Cup. With Carlo Ancelotti’s January switch to a 4-3-3 formation, Jesé had become the first attacker off Real Madrid’s bench, a status that earned him a start on Tuesday in Champions League.
In the meaningless game, however, one of Real Madrid’s worst fears were realized. Though club’s statement didn’t offer a specific prognosis, anterior cruciate injuries can sideline players for up to one year.
Real Madrid’s brief statement:
After undergoing a scan and imaging test in the Sanitas La Moraleja Hospital, our player Jesé Rodríguez has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
In today’s preview, we said “Watching him try to blow by Schalke defenders is worth two hours of your time,” a nod to the speed, control, and abandon he brings to the game. In a game where Schalke had no pretense of winning, Jesé could have stolen the show.
That didn’t happen, though he did steal headlines, albeit for the wrong reason. Among the brightest of Real Madrid’s young talents, Jesé’s career has been temporarily sidelined. Now we await his return.
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