Javier Pastore will be out of action for a month (minimum) after suffering a muscle tear in his left thigh during the 4-0 victory over Sable in the Coupe de France.
The Argentine winced in pain as he gingerly made his way off the pitch just before the half-hour mark on Friday night and was greeted by a concerned Carlo Ancelotti as he made his way past the dugout. Initially, the injury was thought be to be nothing more than a strain but after being checked over by the PSG medical staff the prognosis is much more serious.
He will miss the games to Brest, Evian, Nice and a huge encounter with title rivals Montpellier. He may also be out of the trip to Olympique Lyonnais at the end of February.
His absence is a huge blow and that will leave Ancelotti pondering his team selection without him. He may consider bringing in either Nene or Jeremy Menez more centrally to fill the void or perhaps bolster the midfield with Clement Chantome coming in alongside Mathieu Bodmer and Mohamed Sissoko. Whatever the Italian opts to do, it is going to have a bearing on how the team plays. Pastore’s form may have been hit and miss of late but his presence is vital – especially considering the four games he has missed this season have resulted in defeats.
This is a huge test for Ancelotti to work his magic with a squad that is not too strong in numbers. It will possibly create opportunities for the fringe players to throw the cat amongst the positions and stake their claims for a starting berth.
Pastore is a unique entity in the camp and it would be naive to think his absence will not be fundamental. He offers something different, a match winner. This is a real test for the club to overcome and prove they can continue their surge to a Ligue 1 title without him.