That is according to a recent report from Nathan Judah, who claimed via Twitter: “Podence is a bit of a grey area, has an injury and potentially could play through injections, but he’s unwilling at the moment because he might aggravate that problem.”
The latest news comes as a big worry for Lage and Wolves, who have registered their worst run of the season over the last three games. Their three-match losing streak has seen them leak five goals with no reply.
Coincidentally or otherwise, Podence has been absent for all three of those games in which Wolves have failed to score, evidence of his creative importance for the Old Gold.
Despite struggling to boost his end product for what is now a second consecutive season, the 26-year-old is the most creative outlet in Lage’s side, having registered seven big chances out of Wolves’ entire tally of 35 as a team this season.
His defensive acumen in the side is also overlooked all too often, with Podence topping the charts out of the Wolves squad for possession won in the final third with an average of 1.3 per game. This metric places him as high as joint-sixth for the entire Premier League, tied with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
His average of 2.1 successful dribbles per 90 could have presented an opportunity for Lage’s side to attack in a more direct manner against what will likely be a close-knit Chelsea backline, so the news of his continued absence comes as a big blow for Wolves and Podence, who may not feature again this season.
However, if he wants to hit the ground running next season, his decision to not play through injections and instead let his injury heal over the summer could most certainly turn out to be the best move for everyone involved.