Leverkusen’s Palacios injures back playing for Argentina

Exequiel Palacios was taken off after being hit in the back by a knee from Paraguay forward Angel Romero as the pair competed for a high ball.

Exequiel Palacios of Argentina leaves the field after being injured during a match between Argentina and Paraguay as part of South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022.   -  Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Exequiel Palacios is facing three months on the sidelines after fracturing three vertebrae while playing for Argentina, the club said Friday.

Palacios was taken off after being hit in the back by a knee from Paraguay forward Angel Romero as the pair competed for a high ball on Thursday. The World Cup qualifier finished 1-1.

Leverkusen said it is in close contact with doctors treating Palacios in Argentina and that the club wants him to return to Germany for further rehabilitation.

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Palacios joined Leverkusen in January from Argentine club River Plate. He has played six games for the German team this season and made his fifth appearance for Argentina on Thursday.

Palacios joins a growing injury list at Leverkusen, which is already without Brazilian forward Paulinho and Colombian right back Santiago Arias. Czech forward Patrik Schick hasn’t played since October 3 because of a muscle injury but could return soon.

Leverkusen is in fourth place in the Bundesliga and next plays promoted Arminia Bielefeld on November 21.

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