Juventus are at risk of being without Giorgio Chiellini for the remainder of February after the Italian veteran sustained a calf injury in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona.
The narrative Gods descended upon the Allianz Stadium – hence the fog – as Dusan Vlahovic opened his Bianconeri account after 13 minutes before fellow debutant Denis Zakaria doubled Juve’s advantage midway the second half to herald the start of a new dawn in Turin. There’s already talk of a potential Scudetto challenge! What have you done to us, Dusan?!
Nevertheless, if there were a couple of negatives to take away from Sunday’s win (excluding Juve’s managing of the game in the second half), it was the injuries sustained by Zakaria and Chiellini later on in the contest. Both were forced off in the final 15 minutes.
Denis Zakaria is fine, but Giorgio Chiellini could miss several weeks with a calf injury
Minutes before his 75th-minute withdrawal, Chiellini injured his neck in an awkward collision in the Juventus box and when he was replaced by Daniele Rugani, it initially appeared that he was being taken off as a precautionary measure.
However, Romeo Agresti reported after the match that the timeless centre-back had in fact picked up yet another calf injury. Agresti added on Tuesday morning that Zakaria’s lower back injury isn’t thought to be serious, meaning he should be in contention for Thursday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final tie against Sassuolo.
Chiellini, meanwhile, will undergo tests on Wednesday but he’s expected to miss Thursday’s game as well as Sunday’s massive Serie A clash in the context of the title, sorry, top-four race away at Atalanta. Sky Italia speculate that the Italian defender’s injury may be more serious than initially feared which puts his status for future February clashes against Torino, Villarreal and Empoli in doubt.
Should Chiellini miss a substantial period of time, the veteran’s minutes will be shared between Leonardo Bonucci, who is yet to feature in 2022, and Rugani, who enjoyed a brilliant January amid a mini centre-back availability crisis.
Matthijs de Ligt will, hopefully, be a mainstay. So Juventus should be fine.