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Light at the end of the tunnel for Nico Benedetti

While an injury is never a positive story, the fact that the Colombian still has a chance to see action this season is a huge win for América.

Leon v America - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

After stealing a ball inside León’s penalty-box Monday night and assisting teammate Henry Martín in taking a 2-1 lead, Colombian attacking midfielder Nico Benedetti fell dramatically to the ground, holding his knee and bursting into tears, as everyone feared he had re-aggravated the torn ACL injury he suffered in the Pre-Olympic under-23 tournament back in February, when his home country of Colombia faced Uruguay.

After months of rehab, he finally made his return with América this season on September 3rd, during their Round 8 matchup vs. Mazatlán which ‘Las Águilas’ won 3-1, just as he was approaching the six-month mark since his ACL injury. It was a pretty quick return from such a serious injury. It’s also worth noting that América went undefeated since his return to the pitch, recording three wins and three draws. And they were in the lead at the moment of his injury, before ultimately allowing León to complete their 3-2 comback win. One thing is for sure though; as he was being carted off the pitch, it appeared it was the second time in just eight months that he had suffered the same unlucky fate.

Dr. Rafael Ortega, who operated Benedetti’s meniscus successfully earlier this week, mentioned that the fact that his right medial meniscus tore just eight months after his ACL did was very unfortunate, but the positive note is that it is a totally unrelated injury. “We have the idea that we can have him back on the pitch in six weeks playing intense football.” Ortega also gave an update on his current status, stating that the Colombian is walking today, even being able to put weight on his right leg. In ten days he is scheduled to start cycling and swimming, followed by physical and technical workouts which will ultimately determine where he is on the return timeline.

If Dr. Ortega is right, Benedetti would be back by as soon as the Guard1anes 2020 Semi-Finals. Not bad when compared to the originally feared injury. This means América will have to win its Quarter-Final series if it plans to field Benedetti this season again. It’s a huge blow for América who was benefitting importantly from the skillful midfielder, and an even bigger blow for the Colombian himself, who after so many months of inactivity, was finally getting into rhythm, having played in each of the last seven matches for the yellow and blue.

However, if Benedetti is able to return for the Semi-Final stage, it would be a huge addition as well for Miguel Herrera and company, as they would see one of their main playmakers return for the most important part of the season. However, his recovery must go well and he must avoid setbacks, as any hiccup during this process would surely prevent him from seeing any action during the remainder of this season.