A few weeks ago, César Azpilicueta and Pedro were the special guests on Chelsea TV’s Friday Night Live program, and the former showed up with a mysterious blue cast on his left hand. The program’s host made cursory reference to it, but an explanation was either cut out in editing or not provided at all.
Anybody know what's the deal with Dave's left hand? Sprained/broken finger? pic.twitter.com/HFFdCRD0U0— Dávid Pásztor (@D_Peezy) March 4, 2017
Thanks to Goal’s Alberto Piñero and Nizaar Kinsella, we finally have an answer, if not a complete explanation of how it happened. Unsurprisingly, given the splint and the way the little finger was taped to the ring finger, it’s a broken bone.
Azpilicueta broke his 5th metacarpal against Swansea but won't miss any action. That's why he has a splint on his hand (via @pineroalberto)— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) March 22, 2017
Not to be confused with a metatarsal — made famous by David Beckham (second metatarsal) and Wayne Rooney (fourth metatarsal) ahead of back-to-back World Cups — the metacarpal bones connect the wrist (i.e. carpus) to the fingers and are numbered from the inside out. So the first metacarpal is the one for the thumb and the fifth metacarpal is the one for the pinky. They are obviously quite a bit less crucial to the proper operation of a football player than the bones in the feet, so Azpi has been playing on just fine since the injury.
But now you know. And knowing is half the battle.