Bengaluru, April 24: AC Milan's Lucas Biglia could miss the World Cup this summer for Argentina after the defensive midfielder suffered a severe back injury during the Italian side's outing against last-placed side Benevento at the weekend.
The former Lazio player was substituted following 72 minutes of Milan's stunning 0-1 defeat to Benevento last Saturday. Later medical reports have revealed that the 32-year-old has sustained a crack in two vertebrae on his back. He will undergo further tests later to determine the seriousness of the injury.
Lucas Biglia has reportedly suffered a small fracture in the lower back area and will be out for 5-6 weeks. Another World Cup headache for Sampaoli pic.twitter.com/B2LjJjt0iC— Peter Coates (@golazoargentino) April 22, 2018
"AC Milan inform that Lucas Biglia reported a severe lumbar trauma due to an injury during Saturday's match against Benevento," a statement on the club's website said. "The player has undergone medical examinations that highlighted a fracture of the transverse processes of the first two lumbar vertebrae.
"A detailed prognosis will be issued in the coming days upon completion of all medical tests."
Generally, a vertebral break takes four to six weeks to heal but usually requires a further month’s recovery time afterwards.
This puts in doubt Biglia's presence in the 2018 World Cup in Russia this June. The midfielder has been an influential member in Argentina's World Cup qualifying campaign, where he featured in 13 matches. But he could now pass up a major opportunity for what could be his last appearance at a World Cup. The midfielder was also part of the Argentina squad that finished runners-up at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he featured in all seven matches.
The former Anderlecht midfielder moved to the San Siro this season on a 17 million euros deal following a four-year spell with Lazio. The defensive midfielder has shown up 36 times this season for the Italian side and despite Milan's all struggles, the midfielder has been a bright spot for them. Biglia has scored one and assisted twice in the whole campaign for them.
Biglia now joins compatriot Sergio Aguero, who is also reportedly a major doubt for the tournament after worsening his knee injury during the Manchester derby.
And with the World Cup just less than eight weeks away, this news will surely be a big blow for Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Argentina will start their World Cup campaign on June 16 against Iceland.