And so it begins.
The international break is something that isn’t very popular for a variety of reasons. One of the main things is that Juventus’ best players go off and represent their countries and we’re left to sit down and pray to make sure they all come back in one healthy piece. We’ve already had the Marko Pjaca scare, which turned out to be nothing compared to what was feared. Now, we have something else — and at a position that has already been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks.
Giorgio Chiellini has injured his calf, both the Italian national team and Juventus announced on Friday. Because of it, Chiellini has left the Azzurri’s training camp where they were preparing for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia and returned to Vinovo and his Juve teammates not on international duty a little earlier than most of us expected to have happen.
Here’s Juventus’ statement on the matter:
Giorgio Chiellini will miss Italy’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia on Sunday after an examination at J|Medical revealed bruising to the right calf.
The assessment of the results of the defender’s MRI scan was that skipping this weekend’s fixture was the best course of action, with Chiellini now set to remain in Vinovo to undergo treatment and further inspection of the injury.
Here is the Italian federation’s statement on the matter:
After Riccardo Montolivo, who was forced to return home after the injury against Spain, Giorgio Chiellini has also left the training camp.
The Juventus defender underwent tests in the afternoon for a blunt force trauma to his right calf, sustained in training this afternoon
The player will not be available for Macedonia-Italy on Sunday in Skopje and will return to his club tonight.
And so it begins.
We now wait and see just how truly long Chiellini is out for simply because as much as there is news about what is wrong with the 32-year-old defender, there’s still no true timetable for his recovery. We know he will be out of Italy’s game against Macedonia this weekend, but that’s it. For all we know this could be a truly minor impact injury and Chiellini could be in the lineup next weekend against Udinese, thwarting any kind of fears we would have that Juve is suddenly down to just two healthy central defenders.
But when you throw in Chiellini’s injury history over the last couple of seasons, it’s certainly something you have to worry about. That’s just the nature of what we’re dealing with here, folks. I love Chiellini as much as anybody, but when you’re nearing your mid-30s and have a now-lengthy injury list to your name, you can’t help but be a little fearful about the latest knock no matter how minor or major it may be.
The waiting game, it now begins.