There was still hope for Barcelona fans and Rafinha Alcântara himself that his injury was nothing serious. Turns out it's beyond that.
The Brazilian midfielder has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the club announced on Thursday. Rafinha will undergo surgery in the upcoming days, and the timetable for his return is only going to be known after the procedure, although an ACL tear usually sidelines a player for six to seven months.
It was an unlucky play for the youngster, who suffered a terrible challenge by Roma's Radja Nainggolan. However, that type of challenge happens on every game, and Rafinha's leg just happened to get stuck, which led to the injury.
#Nainggolan entrata durissima su #Rafinha da dietro:per il giovane blaugrana si teme un lungo stop. Infortunio grave pic.twitter.com/kJOAcBUMZe— Eurosport.it (@Eurosport_IT) September 16, 2015
Rafinha was one of the best performers in Barça's young season, and he was establishing himself as a 12th starter for Luis Enrique due to his great showings both as a midfielder and a winger. Now, he's expected to return somewhere between March and April, meaning the Blaugrana only have three true midfielders until Arda Turan is cleared to play.
What a terrible piece of news. Just horrible.