Last September, minutes into the superclásico in the Monumental, Fernando Gago fell crumpled to the floor under no challenge but obviously in considerable pain. The Argentina international had ruptured his achilles tendon and faced months on the sidelines, missing Boca’s league and cup triumph at the end of 2015.
On Sunday afternoon in La Bombonera, Boca Juniors once more hosted fierce rivals River Plate and with Boca already down to ten men, Gago appeared to take an outrageous dive in an effort to earn Lucas Alario a second yellow and even things up. Replays showed a slight slip before Gago threw himself ahead of Alario without even the vaguest of touches but there appeared nothing untoward.
However, Gago stayed down and received treatment before being helped off the field and substituted. Even at that point, it didn’t appear too serious as Gago was still remonstrating with either the officials or River players and pointing to his foot.
Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, Boca have no confirmed that he has ruptured the same achilles tendon and will require surgery this week. Gago missed more than four months football when he suffered the same injury last season and Boca’s medical team are now estimating that the midfielder will be out 6-7 months.
Sickening news for Gago but a bitter blow for Boca ahead of crucial Copa Libertadores matches.