Juventus announced on Saturday that defender Giorgio Chiellini has tested positive for COVID-19.
The veteran returned to individual training at Continassa on New Year’s Day and was set to be in contention for Juventus’ first game of 2022 against Napoli on January 6.
Instead, he became the third Juve first-teamer in two days to test positive for COVID-19 after Arthur Melo and Carlo Pinsoglio tested positive on Friday. In the week, Chiellini was forced to isolate for a brief period after coming into close contact with someone who contracted the virus.
And following his own positive result, the defender will be frustratingly be forced to isolate once more.
Regarding Chiellini’s positive test, a club statement read: “Juventus Football Club announces that, during today’s screening procedures for the resumption of competitive activity, Giorgio Chiellini tested positive for Covid-19.
“The player is already observing the foreseen measures and has been placed in isolation, in compliance with the health protocol in force.”
On the bright side, La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Giovanni Albanese reports that Chiellini did not have any close contact with his teammates at Continassa on Saturday as he awaited the result of his swab test. Thus, there’s hope that the defender won’t have transmitted the virus.
Still, Juventus must be careful as they up their preparations for next Thursday’s Serie A clash against Napoli. Three senior players are on the COVID-19 list, with several under-23’s also contracting the virus. The situation must be monitored in the coming days.
Chiellini’s positive test isn’t the best of news for Massimiliano Allegri, who’ll likely have just three fit senior centre-backs available for the Napoli game. The boss will have Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt and Daniele Rugani to select from (hopefully) with youngster Koni De Winter also COVID-19 positive.