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Villarreal face a tough few weeks without Gio

Medical news is Gio will be out of action for several weeks with a muscle injury. Since there is another international break after the October 6 match vs Celta, odds are he won't return until the Almeria match on the weekend of the 19th.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

The Villarreal medical report doesn't make for pleasant reading this morning.

Giovani dos Santos has a small tear in his left hamstring, and word is he will be out several weeks.  This means he will miss the league matches against Granada, Rayo, Eibar, and Real Madrid for sure, and probably Celta (October 5); in addition, he will definitely miss the Munchengladbach match on the 18th of September and will probably not be available for the Apollon Limasol fixture on October 2.

Good news I suppose is that after that period, Villarreal don't return to action until October 19, against Almeria.  And compared to last year, when it felt as though we relied on Gio more and more as the season went on, we do have a crop of youngsters--Espinosa, Vietto, Gerard, Cheryshev--who can fill in.  But none of them have Gio's flair and experience.

The news on Bojan Jokic is not good at all-- he is going to have arthroscopic surgery tomorrow on his right knee--the cartilage has not responded to rest.  Word is he will be out three months, which given the timing of the Christmas break means we may not see him on the pitch until 2015.   Jaume Costa, meanwhile, is still recovering from his hamstring injury, so Marcelino is going to have to figure out who to play over at left back.  Gabriel filled in when Costa went out against Barca but had never played there, and that's not really an answer; Rukavina is a right back, as is Mario, and I don't think either have ever switched sides.  And Rukavina was on international duty with Serbia last weekend (though he didn't play).

Adrian Marin has shown promise, but as one of our regular commentors noted, throwing him into the La Liga fire might be a bit much at this point.  I wonder about using one of our defensive midfielders over there if Costa isn't ready for Granada?