While we've seen Juventus' midfield and attack take on a much different look than the season prior, the same can't be said about the best defense in Serie A. Outside of a few minor departures and one of Italy's most talented prospects coming back to base, the names are essentially the same.
Except those names are now being hampered by injuries. Aren't these kinds of posts just wonderful? (Don't answer that.)
Giorgio Chiellini will miss the next three weeks — and the Italian Super Cup to boot — after suffering a thigh injury early in the first half of Juventus' 2-1 friendly victory over Lechia Gdansk. I'd tell you more about the diagnosis, but I'm not a doctor, so let's just read the official word. From juventus.com:
After a morning of gym work and physical exercises on Vinovo's training pitches, Massimiliano Allegri's men followed their usual routine of shifting to a tactical workout with the ball in the afternoon.
One player unable to take part in training today was Giorgio Chiellini. After leaving the pitch early in the first half of Wednesday evening's 2-1 victory against Lechia Gdansk, the defender underwent medical examinations which revealed a first grade tear of the rectus femoris in his right thigh.
Chiellini is expected to return to competitive action in approximately 20 days, thus ruling him out of the Super Cup in Shanghai on Saturday 8 August.
Well, that's just grand. First Andrea Barzagli is ruled out for three weeks, now Chiellini has to deal with the same kind of injury timetable.
So, let's just go ahead and try to recap everything here: Juventus sees one of its starting center backs in Chiellini suffer an injury in the second preseason friendly of the summer. But, before that, the man who would have almost certainly replaced Chiellini in the starting lineup over the course of that absence, Barzagli, suffer the same kind of injury in Juve's first friendly a few days earlier.
We wanted to see Daniele Rugani, and we're going to now.
Just about two weeks into preseason training and Juventus are down to three center backs. We know Leonardo Bonucci and his new contract will start if he's healthy, but the same can't be said for his other two Italian internationals. That 3-5-2 Allegri rolled out on Wednesday, that might not be an option for the time being. It's just Rugani and Martin Cáceres in terms of players who are available in the center of defense for the next three weeks. That's ... not how I envisioned things going as the 2015-16 opened up. Not by a long shot.
Maybe we should just put Bonucci, Rugani and Cáceres in some bubble wrap for the time being. That could be a somewhat logical option based on how things are going injury-wise this week. Stupid, stupid injuries.