News that Mario Balotelli fell injured was disappointing but not entirely surprising given Liverpool's luck with recent international breaks. Daniel Sturridge's problems with England during the first break of the Premier League season kicked off what's been a fairly miserable stretch for Liverpool, who have seen a handful of players ruled out at one time or another because of their exertions on international duty.
So Balotelli's return to Merseyside had an air of inevitability about it given that supporters had survived a whole six days without news of an injury. This time around, however, it looks as though there's something strikingly similar to good news to report, as Italy manager Antonio Conte reported that Balotelli's injury might not be as serious as feared:
"Balotelli did not suffer a muscle strain but an inflammation of the pubic area. Yesterday and today he has not been able to train, it makes no sense to keep people in the national team who are not in training."
Or it might be serious, who knows, medicine is not a science. But it's something, and hopefully something positive. It obviously rules out concerns about a strain or potential tear of the hamstring, and "inflammation" would certainly seem like a shorter-term injury, one that led to a dismissal that was mostly precautionary rather than with a long layoff expected. Ideally that proves good news for Liverpool, and Balotelli can be ready in the next few weeks for the busy month ahead.