AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho says Paulo Dybala unlikely to return before end of year


Paulo Dybala struck the winning goal for Roma against Lecce on Sunday, but the Giallorossi are fearing the worst after he went off injured.

Jose Mourinho believes Paulo Dybala is unlikely to feature for Roma again this year after the Argentine suffered an injury in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Lecce.

Dybala slotted home the winner from the penalty spot after Gabriel Strefezza had canceled out Chris Smalling’s sixth-minute opener to find the net for a third straight Serie A game.

However, the striker limped off clutching his left thigh immediately after scoring and appeared to be on the bench in tears after being taken off.

Dybal’s return of six goals in 10 games for Roma this term is a team-high (in all competitions), but Mourinho could now be without the 28-year-old for an extended period.

Asked about Dybal’s condition after the win, Mourinho told DAZN: “I say bad, but I think very, very bad.

“I’m not a doctor, but from my experience and from talking to Paul, it’s unlikely we’ll see him this year.

If Dybala is ruled out for an extended period, it would also be a blow to Argentina ahead of the World Cup, as the forward has won 34 senior caps for the Albiceleste.

Meanwhile, despite Roma staying just a point behind Serie A’s top four with the win, Mourinho was unhappy with their game management after the visitors sent off captain Morten Hjulmand.

“There was fatigue, both physical and mental. Playing on Thursday and Sunday is difficult,” Mourinho said. “When I see Udinese and Atalanta [who drew 2-2 on Sunday], I understand that they are not playing in the middle of the week.

“We came in very well, with intensity and ambition. Then it was more difficult because we didn’t manage it well, when you are tired, instead of playing you just complicate things.

“We didn’t play well today and we won, we played better against Atalanta and we lost [1-0 last month]. We have to manage fatigue better.”

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