Is there a doctor in the house?

There is a chance, faithful reader, that some of you may not be around tomorrow to read another daily dose of lies, more lies and the odd statistic. Indeed, there’s a possibility that La Liga Loca won’t be here to write it. The great circle of life dictates that some of us will end the day - or even morning, if things go very badly - shuffling off this mortal coil, having been mushed, mashed, squashed, or watched Osasuna.

"Stop it Osasuna, just stop! I can't take this anymore..." 

Those of us resident in sunny Spain are in constant danger of that fatal step in front of a red-light dodging car, whose driver will always give that apologetic wave as you are bounced through a newspaper kiosk and empaled on a railing. But those of us in sunny Spain are also blessed by living in a country where every sports fan is a qualified practitioner of medicine. Like most of the Western World, hospital dramas go down a treat in Spain. House and Grey’s Anatomy are both big favourites with the operation-obsessed locals. Even locally produced fare that mainly involves alternating scenes of shagging and shouting get the televisual pulses going.  This popularity is partly explained by existence of millions and millions of qualified doctors in Spain. After all, you need only take the cheekiest of flicks through the sports papers as proof of the countrywide level of understanding of the various injuries and ailments being suffered by La Liga’s unfortunate footballers.Back in Blighty, the football fan is left with mere journalistic titbits when wanting to know what his favourite superstar is suffering from. A knacked knee, dodgy back, hurty ankle or tight groin is all that is offered up as way of explanation for a seven-year absence.In Spain, the detailed description given on a footballer’s particular niggle is truly breathtaking, so much so that the non-Hippocratic oath taking La Liga Loca has no idea how to translate them, most of the time. And that’s why the best way to approach the next section of today’s post is to imagine a liberal scattering of (sic). Not unlike La Liga Loca's Malasaña pavement on a Sunday morning, come to think of it.

"Hmm... looks like a dodgy external meniscus to me Ruud..."

A flick through Tuesday’s Marca and AS reveals that Betis’ Edu is in Finland receiving treatment for a “fibre tear in the miotendinosa union of the semi-membrane of the left thigh.” A painful sounding problem that could keep the striker out until March. Osasuna’s Patxi Puñal has been sidelined with a micro tear in his left quadriceps. Atlético’s Luis Perea looks like he has recovered from his "craneofaligic traumatism" suffered against Osasuna on Sunday - a condition that most of the crowd may be recovering from too. But it’s in Real Madrid where the medical centre appears to resemble an operating theatre in the Somme. Ruud van Nistelrooy has travelled to the US to have his "external meniscus of the right knee" looked at. Mahamadou Diarra is out for three weeks with "a grade one muscular injury in the femoral biceps of the left thigh." Sergio Ramos - as well as losing a three million euro investment with the Lehman Brothers, according to Marca - is also blighted by a "tematoma" in his right leg.

Pepe has problems in the quadriceps of his left thigh, whilst Arjen Robben is set to miss the rest of 2008 with a "grade two tear in the soleo of his right leg."

"Ah jeez, not the soleo of my right leg again..." 

It’s not just in football where writers go into such graphic detail. Rafa Nadal has dropped out of some tennis tournament or another with an "insertion tendinitis of the quadraciptal tendon of the right knee." The knowledge that there is so much medical knowledge walking the streets of this great country is most comforting. One day, when the blog has been bounced through a Zara shop window by a speeding taxi driver, a Marca reader will be able to diagnose a “grade one tear to the arterial jugular and contusions to the left femoral quadriceps.” However, one suspects that La Liga Loca will still end up bleeding to death over the store’s autumn collection as the Good Samaritan wanders off to read a little bit more on why Raúl is just so great.

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