Doctor Claudio Rigo, the former Juventus and Sassuolo medical director, explained the difficulties of recovering from a rectus femoris injury, the one suffered by Paulo Dybala.

The 28-year-old Argentinian winger was dealt an unlucky blow during the Giallorossi’s 2-1 win over Lecce on the weekend, suffering the injury immediately after scoring a penalty kick. Dybala was forced to miss last week’s loss to Real Betis and he won’t take part in tonight’s game either, limiting Jose Mourinho’s options up front. 

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Dr Rigo first explained what a rectus femoris injury is and why Roma need to carefully manage Dybala’s recovery.

“The rectus femoris is one of the most delicate muscles to treat when injured, because it’s a bit of a ‘traitor’ along with the biceps femoris and the twins. 

“These are three muscle groups with which the greatest caution and attention must be exercised in the recovery phase without rushing anything because the risk of relapse is always just around the corner. They are delicate injuries that require caution and patience. 

“For minor injuries only physiotherapy is needed, for major injuries – so to have better healing for the scar, and to shorten recovery time – PRP injection may be useful.”

He explained what a PRP injection is and why they can be useful.

“A protein-rich plasma: blood is taken from the patient, centrifuged, prepared, and then the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the area of the lesion. 

“But one has to be careful not to inject too much of it or inject PRP that might give too much of a stimulus to scar regeneration and then give a hard and uncomfortable scar. PRP yes, but done by experienced hands.”

Finally, Dr Rigo commented on if it was normal to suffer an injury like this whilst taking a penalty kick.

“Yes, it is possible to be injured when taking a penalty kick because the biomechanics of the kick involves extending the hip, so going backwards, then the kick of the ball causes the rectus that had previously been extended to contract.”

The 28-year-old Dybala is hoping to recover in time for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off in little over a month.

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