This wasn't really known until a couple of days before the game in Valencia, but our beloved coach Pep Guardiola is suffering from back pains. Back pains that are serious enough that he was forced to miss two trainings (Tuesday and Wednesday) and was instructed not to make the 300 km (190 mile) trip to Valencia. Despite the doctor's opinion he traveled with the team and during the game he was visibly in pain. Today the club medical staff decided that it would be best if the manager went to the hospital for further examination. There he was diagnosed with a herniated disc.
A herniated disc is a medical condition affecting the spine and resulting in back and/or leg pain. The spinal disc is a soft cushion between each vertebrae and with age the disc becomes more rigid, losing elasticity and becoming more vulnerable to injury. When the disc ruptures it bulges out from the boundary pinching the spinal nerves and spinal cord, resulting in the irritation of the nerves and therefore pain.
It is a common problem and even in individuals as young as 30, there is evidence of deterioration of the disc in about 30% of people. The first course of treatment is drugs and epidural injections but while this might relieve the pain, it is not a long term solution. The success rate of this type of medication is just over 50% and sometime in the future Guardiola might have to consider surgery to repair the problem.
Right now all we can do is hope that the drugs work and help Pep to cope with the pain, because no matter how determined he is, he won't be able to work his magic under such pain.
Here's to a quick recovery.