When it was revealed that Weston McKennie had suffered a double foot fracture in the 1-1 draw with Villarreal in February, it was widely believed that the American’s 2021/22 season was over.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said that McKennie would return for the 2022/23 campaign a couple of weeks after the Villarreal draw, but fresh hope has emerged of the midfielder returning before the season’s up.
McKennie is one of several Bianconeri players on the long-term injury list. Federico Chiesa is out until the autumn after tearing his ACL in January, while Kaio Jorge could be out for up to a year with a nasty knee injury. Denis Zakaria’s thigh injury, meanwhile, further limited Allegri’s midfield options throughout March.
Weston McKennie’s 2021/22 season might not be over
Juventus coped pretty well amid their injury crisis, although McKennie’s ingenuity out of possession and threat in the opposition box was missed in the second leg defeat to Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine.
The Bianconeri were woefully one-paced in midfield during yet another embarrassing European exit and McKennie may well have provided an alternate problem for a rock-solid Villarreal defence. The American has been one of Juve’s most impressive performers this season, with his campaign ignited by the two goals he scored against Sassuolo and Hellas Verona at the end of October.
Thus, his injury was a huge blow for the Old Lady and Zakaria’s absence has meant Juve have been reliant on Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Arthur Melo for the past month.
However, Zakaria is poised to make his comeback in the upcoming Derby d’Italia and Tuttosport (via @JuveFC) report that Allegri could have McKennie back for the final few games of the season.
The spritely 23-year-old midfielder is said to be recovering faster from injury than was initially projected and the countdown for his return has already begun.