When Antonio Conte said the following on Wednesday before the first leg of Juventus' Europa League semifinal against Benfica, the eternal optimist in me felt like we'd be seeing Arturo Vidal back in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
In that sense, "hopefully" meant that Vidal could possibly be good to go for the second leg against Benfica, providing Juve with the player they've barely see play any kind of serious minutes the past three weeks.
Now, "hopefully" means that Vidal won't be out of the foreseeable future rather than making his return to the lineup in the coming days. Because, you know, trying to overcome a 2-1 deficit to Benfica on Thursday isn't enough to be concerned about at this point in time.
The Chile international has been struggling with a knee problem since the 2-0 defeat to Napoli and managed only a handful of substitute appearances.
He has been told to rest completely for three days before further tests and Tuttosport claim disappointing results will mean going under the knife.
Vidal and Chile are eager to avoid this solution, as it would rule him out for the rest of the season and leave him struggling for fitness going into the World Cup.
It's not just Tuttosport who are hopping on the Vidal-potential knee surgery story amongst the Italian media on Saturday morning. The Corriere dello Sport is also saying that Vidal's injury situation could be resolved in the next couple of days — he may be back running at training, he may be forced to go under the knife because his meniscus problem hasn't gotten any better.
Ugh. I don't like where all of this is heading. So much for being the eternal optimist, right? Ah, hell.
Either way, I feel safe in saying that we will all be waiting for the results no matter if it's somewhat good news or grab-the-kleenex kind of bad news that involves knives and operations and other sad things.
- UEFA Europa League: Juventus vs. Benfica, Leg 1, full match coverage
- Benfica 2 - Juventus 1: Initial reaction and random observations
- UEFA Europa League Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Benfica, Leg 1
- Juventus vs. Benfica, Leg 1: You choose Antonio Conte's starting lineup
- UEFA Europa League: Antonio Conte rules out Arturo Vidal for Juventus' first leg against Benfica