Manchester City’s (well, City’s from January) Gabriel Jesus had his injury confirmed on Monday. The 19-year-old suffered a thigh problem during a game in the weekend, and after being examined, ended up opening a debate about how Palmeiras are treating him during his last months at the club.
The big controversy is because Jesus played for Brazil in Manaus on Tuesday night. Then the Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre sent a private jet to take him so he could be on the bench against São Paulo on Wednesday night, in a game which he ended up playing in for forty minutes.
Then he was a starter in Sunday’s match against Grêmio, meaning he played three games in less than 120 hours. He came off after 76 minutes after feeling pain in his left thigh.
Palmeiras officially denied that the sequence of games had anything to do with the injury. On Sunday, manager Cuca called people “opportunists”, and the club doctor Ruben Sampaio said the player was 100% and the problem was “mechanic”.
But now that the tests are done, it’s known that Jesus will miss Wednesday’s clash against Flamengo. This is the most important game of the league so far, as Palmeiras are on top of the table and could be surpassed by the Rio de Janeiro team in case of a loss.
Although Palmeiras are making a mystery about how long the player will be sidelined, it’s expected that Jesus will miss at least two other league games. This opened a discussion on several Brazilian TV shows, including ESPN’s Linha de Passe on Monday.
Despite being a 19-year-old, Jesus is no mutant who can play without a decent recovery time. But as Palmeiras have no medium term concern about him, it feels like they’re using the player as much as they can since there are only a few games left for him before he moves to Manchester City.
The true length of his absence will only be known in a few weeks. The player is also expected to be called up for the Brazilian national team this Friday for the games against Bolivia and Venezuela.