Poor Manuel Locatelli, eh. After eating Lautaro Martinez’s right boot in the opening minutes of Sunday’s Derby d’Italia and playing the next 30 minutes like a concussed WWII soldier, he eventually departed the field in tears having picked up a knee injury.
He’s had better nights, shall we say.
The outpouring of emotion from the midfielder as he trudged off the field had Juventus fans fearing the very worst. Surely they weren’t going to lose Federico Chiesa AND Locatelli to ACLs, right?
Well, thankfully, the former Sassuolo star underwent tests at J-Medical on Monday which revealed no significant damage.
Manuel Locatelli is set to be ruled out for 20 days with a knee injury
After Sunday’s unfortunate defeat, Massimiliano Allegri told reporters: “Locatelli is out with a right knee problem that doesn’t seem serious: it’s a collateral strain and he should be out for about 20 days in total.”
Allegri’s initial diagnosis has since proved to be pretty accurate. While Locatelli told supporters outside J-Medical that he’ll be out for 20 days, Romeo Agresti has since confirmed that the Italian’s “first-degree injury of the medial collateral ligament of the right knee” will keep him out of action for a month.
As a result, the midfielder will certainly be absent for Juve’s upcoming Serie A clashes against Cagliari and Bologna as well as the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg at home to Fiorentina on 20 April.
Despite Locatelli’s absence, Max Allegri will be confident that his side can cope in the middle of the park.
Adrien Rabiot arguably produced his finest performance for Juventus on Sunday and supporters will be pleading that the Frenchman can finally build some momentum in Bianconeri colours. Denis Zakaria, meanwhile, was impressive off the bench and he came close to equalising in the second half, but his effort following a dazzling solo run was tipped onto the post by Samir Handanovic.
Allegri can also call upon the services of Arthur Melo and, who knows, perhaps he’ll have Weston McKennie back before the end of the month as well.