Roma's Mohamed Salah has been ruled out for four to six weeks after suffering an ankle ligament injury in Sunday's Eternal City derby against Lazio, with coach Rudi Garcia furious that Senad Lulic was not sent off for the challenge.
Salah left the Stadio Olimpico on crutches following Roma's 2-0 victory, with Garcia suggesting that it would be a "miracle" if the player's ankle was not broken.
Garcia feels Lulic should have been punished with a straight red card for the lunge on Salah, as the Giallorissi boss now faces the prospect of being without his Egypt international for an extended period after Roma announced the extent of Salah's injury on Monday morning.
A club statement read: "Mohamed Salah has undergone medical tests this morning after being forced off with an ankle injury in the 58th minute of last night's derby win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico following a challenge from Senad Lulic.
"The tests revealed that Salah has sustained Grade II ligament damage to his right ankle. It is expected that the Giallorossi No. 11, who has made 11 league appearances for Roma so far this season and is the club's third-highest scorer with six goals in all competitions, will be out for between four and six weeks."
Garcia had said before Salah's injury was fully diagnosed: "Let's just hope more than anything that he doesn't have a fracture. You've all seen the pictures and I don't think there is anything to add to that. No, a foul like that does not belong in a derby.
"I say that players need to be protected from injury at all times. Like I said, I just hope it's not too serious for Salah, but if he's not got a fracture, then it really is a miracle.
"I was happy with almost everything else today, apart from maybe that we could have scored a third goal.
"I've got to say that the team showed quality, individually and as a team with a lot of courage and defensive organisation on the part of everybody. It was a truly beautiful game and a great result -- it's just a pity it was played without the two Curvas."
The Olimpico was not even half full with fewer than 30,000 taking in the biggest fixture of the season for both clubs. The Curva Nord and Curva Sud -- where the two clubs' most ardent fans usually support their team -- were both empty as a sign of protest against new security measures which have effectively divided the areas of the ground up.
Only 3,500 Roma fans were present to see their side win as the nominative away team, with Garca adding: "I'd like to thank those who were at the stadium and urged us on and I'd like to thank the [fans from the Curva] Sud who came to support us outside our hotel, and I hope this situation gets resolved."
The lack of fans was the least of Lazio coach Stefano Pioli's concerns, however, as he lamented the referee's decision to award Roma a penalty when Santiago Gentiletti fouled Edin Dzeko on the edge of the box.
Pioli believes the decision determined the outcome of the game, saying: "If you're going to give a penalty for that, in a game like this, you have got to be 105 per cent certain and the referee cannot have been so convinced. It was an incident which certainly conditioned the rest of the game.
"It hurts because this is now a difficult time for us. Of course I'm concerned -- we've lost three games in a row and that had never happened to me, and the derby is very important. This negative result complicates things."