Tottenham Hotspur's Argentine winger Erik Lamela has not featured for the club since October after sustaining a hip injury, but that alone is not the only reason as to why he has been unavailable for selection.
The Telegraph have today reported that Lamela has been granted permission to finish his injury rehabilitation in Rome as he is struggling to come to terms with the death of his dog, which is the latest in a series of unfortunate events that have made life very difficult for the man signed from AS Roma in the summer of 2013.
Tottenham Hotspur’s absent star Erik Lamela is struggling to get over the death of his dog Simba as he continues his rehabilitation from a hip injury in Rome.
Lamela has not played for Tottenham since October last year when he first suffered a hip problem in training, which sparked a run of bad luck that has kept him out of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Firstly, Lamela sustained a hip injury after playing in all of Spurs' opening nine games of the Premier League season. Shortly after, he rushed home to Argentina after learning that his brother was seriously injured in an accident.
Upon returning to England, he learned that his injury was worse than first feared and he would not be able to return to action until into the new year, and now it has emerged that he has also had to deal with the death of his beloved dog 'Simba'.
That has got to be tough. He is said to be spending time in Rome with his compatriot and former teammate Federico Fazio, who is on loan at Roma from Spurs.
A spell out injured can be a very lonely place for a professional athlete, so to throw a major concern over a sibling and then losing a pet that you dearly love on top of that is really unfortunate. It's good to see that Spurs are willing to allow him do whatever he feels will raise his spirits, as with a Premier League footballer earning the type of money that he is, it would be very easy to lazily dismiss his mental health issues.
Sadly, Lamela's latest personal issue has already been mocked on social media, prompting many to jump to his defence.
I bloody hate the phrase 'man up' ..reading it a lot today. Idiots who say this would probably also say "grow a pair".. Morons #Lamela
— Rebecca Waters (@becksie1977) January 23, 2017
Lamela's been injured, his brother got hospitalized, and his dog died yet these 45 year old weirdos can't have an ounce of sympathy for him
— Jake. (@YedIin) January 23, 2017
So Lamela isn't human being and he isn't allowed to be upset about his dog dying... when are people going to give the guy some slack?
— ❥harriet❥ (@hatspur) January 23, 2017
If Lamela is struggling with a combination of grief and frustration at his injury, yes, his mental health will be affected. be compassionate
— Craig (@CraigWijckaans) January 23, 2017
We saw in a very public recent example that morons on twitter will attempt to make fun of even the most saddening personal tragedies, so while it's no surprise to see that sort of reaction when this news has emerged, it's good to see people accepting that footballers are also human beings who are allowed to have feelings.
All the best to Erik Lamela, hopefully we see him return to action soon.