Injuries By the Numbers: The Impact So Far

Milan have played 20 matches so far. In those matches, they have had 105 player absences. That is 105 player absences in 20 matches. These are not just any players, either, as the players with some of the most absences are impact players with undeniable skills and leadership, such as Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Calabria, and Maignan. While there is much debate about just why Milan have dropped as many points as they have thus far, it is difficult to argue that injuries have not impacted the team, both with the physical absences as well as their effect on the overall mentality.

Leaders missing: our captain, starting GK, and Viking CB have 26 games unavailable between them

No one can deny that losing players who had been with the team for multiple years and had won the Scudetto with us and then replacing them with young new players (and some experienced ones, too) this summer would cost us something in sharpness. On the other hand, no one could have predicted losing even more players to injury, particularly to such long-term injuries. Players like Florenzi, who was renewed for his leadership, or our captain and starting goalkeeper are huge losses on the pitch and in the dressing room. People look at the mercato alone, but Milan have played almost half a season having lost a core group of starters for half or more of their matches. 

Florenzi's very serious injury & surgery saw him make more appearances in New York than for Milan, and he won't be back on the pitch until at least February

Remember to look at not just the number of player absences, but which players specifically were missing, and their role in the team, particularly as it pertains to leadership and mentality. Here are the players and their absences in these first 20 matches in all competitions:

Milan have also struggled away this season, something that was their strength in previous seasons, particularly last year. While I initially had a kit-related conspiracy theory about this, there is another much more plausible argument for the struggles. It could well be that most teams struggle playing away, and without the many veterans and leaders who have been missing to injury or suspension over the course of the season, these young players were unable to overcome this struggle, thus results have suffered. Particularly when we have played two away matches in a row. These are the results along with players missing for each match:

šŸ  Milan 4, Udinese 2 – players missing: 2
Injured: Ibrahimović, Tonali

✈ Atalanta 1, Milan 1 – players missing: 2
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić

šŸ  Milan 2, Bologna 0 –players missing: 2
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić

✈ Sassuolo 0, Milan 0 – players missing: 4
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić, Rebić, Origi

šŸ  Milan 3, Inter 2 – players missing: 4
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić, Rebić, Florenzi

✈ UCL • Salzburg FC 1, AC Milan 1 – players missing: 4
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić, Rebić, Florenzi

✈ Sampdoria 1, Milan 2 – players missing: 5
Injured: Ibrahimović, Krunić, Rebić, Florenzi, Origi

šŸ  UCL • AC Milan 3, GNK Dinamo Zagreb 1 – players missing: 4
Injured: Ibrahimović, Rebić, Florenzi, Origi

šŸ  Milan 1, Napoli 2 – players missing: 5
Injured: Ibrahimović, Rebić, Florenzi, Origi, Suspended: LeĆ£o

✈ Empoli 1, Milan 3 – players missing: 6
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Origi, Maignan, Messias, Theo HernĆ”ndez

"Mr. Champions League" came up big for us in our first two UCL matches, then missed 10 matches due to injury

✈ UCL • Chelsea FC 3, AC Milan 0 – players missing: 8
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Messias, Theo HernĆ”ndez, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Kjaer

šŸ  Milan 2, Juventus 0 – players missing: 7
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Messias, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Kjaer

šŸ  UCL • AC Milan 0, Chelsea FC 2 – players missing: 7
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Kjaer, De Ketelaere

✈ Verona 1, Milan 2 – players missing: 7
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Kjaer, De Ketelaere

šŸ  Milan 4, Monza 1 – players missing: 6
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Kjaer

✈ UCL • GNK Dinamo Zagreb 0, AC Milan 4 – players missing: 8
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Dest, Mirante, Suspended: Tomori

✈ Torino 2, Milan 1 – players missing: 5
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers

šŸ  UCL • AC Milan 4, Salzburg FC 0 – players missing: 5
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers

šŸ  Milan 2, Spezia 1 – players missing: 6
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Dest

✈ Cremonese 0, Milan 0 – players missing: 6
Injured: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, Saelemaekers, Dest, Suspended: Theo HernĆ”ndezGiroud

26 matches unavailable for two of our most experienced leaders on the pitch

Milan struggled with injuries last year as well, but not as many long-term injuries to key players and leaders. Twenty matches played in a condensed schedule with so many missing players was always going to be rough. Add to that a transfer window in which we lost players like KessiĆ© and our captain, Romagnoli, and had incredibly limited funds to reinforce the team. A transfer window that was shackled in part by the sale of the club to a new owner as well. There are many factors that are likely impacting Milan's performances this season. But it is impossible to ignore the glaring numbers of absences as well as the resulting leadership lost on this young team. 

Our injury list has specifically caused this man so many headaches this season

Injuries or a lack thereof have impacted more than just Milan. Juventus has struggled with Allegri-scale numbers of injuries this season, which has also impacted their performances, at least according to the coach. Meanwhile, Napoli, who are still undefeated this season, have missed a few players to injuries such as Osimhen (6), Rrahmani (8), Zambo Anguissa (2), and now Kvaratskhelia (2) for a total of 18 matches missed, with very little overlap. Compare that to the 105 misses of Milan, and the fact that we are only eight points behind them is quite incredible. 

Seeing most of our players come back after the break in January will be telling. There should be a huge boost in mentality as well as quality and quantity of players. Plus, there may be new opportunities to reinforce in the transfer window, given that Milan were able to progress to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Even without reinforcements, however, with a normal number of injuries in the second half of the season, Milan will very likely look entirely different. That is the impact that injuries have.



This post inspired by the music of NIN's "Hurt"



Our next match is 
Serie A Week 15
Milan vs. Fiorentina
Sunday, November 13 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)
Injuries By the Numbers: The Impact So Far Injuries By the Numbers: The Impact So Far Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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