Tough news for Napoli as they are on the verge of losing one of their most dynamic attackers for the upcoming matches after the international break.
According to reports from several sources, winger Dries Mertens has been injured on international duty while training with the Belgium national squad and he's expected to spend somewhere between "four to five weeks" on the sidelines rehabbing from a muscle tear.
News comes as a huge disappointment to Napoli
Several Belgian sources provided a bit more information on the injury and while VTM first reported the probable length of recovery for the 28-year-old, sports outlet nieuwsblad.be reported that the explosive winger didn't train with the team this morning and that he's expected to leave the training camp in the coming days.
Mertens' precise time on the sidelines will be announced following more tests that will occur in the coming days, but this is a big blow for Napoli on their quest to reach the top of the standings in Serie A. While Belgium probably won't miss him much in the upcoming friendly matches, Napoli will certainly miss his pace and ability in the final third.
Which games will the attacker miss?
Mertens will miss his nation's final two games of the year due to this injury where Belgium will take on Italy this Friday - in what will be the team's first game as the world's top ranked team according to the FIFA Rankings - and they will also play against Spain next week to close out what has been a brilliant 2015 year.
As for Napoli, Mertens will be out of the games against Hellas Verona (Nov 22nd), Inter Milan (Nov 30th), Bologna (Dec 6th) and Roma (Dec 13th) as well as two UEFA Europa League matches against Club Brugge and Legia Warsaw. If Mertens' recovery goes to plan then he might be able to return in time for the game against Atalanta in what will be the team's final game before the New Year break.