Annnnnnnnd so it begins.
As first reported by Sky Sport Italia, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has suffered what is hopefully his first and only injury of the 2017-18 season after complaining of a right calf issue while on international duty with Italy on Friday morning. And as the last hour has gone by, just about every Italian media outlet has confirmed it, too, meaning this isn’t just Sky jumping to conclusions to scare the living hell out of us all.
Everybody is on it now. And they’re all saying the same thing about Chiellini getting hurt and being out of action for a little bit.
The first question after the injury news is an easy one: How long, exactly, will he be out for?
If you don’t speak Italian, you could probably figure out that the “ko” part of the tweet above isn’t exactly followed up by a good piece of news.
Chiellini will miss Italy’s two 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Israel, with Juventus announcing around 2:30 p.m. in Italy that the 33-year-old defender has left Italy’s training camp and returned to Turin. Beyond that, who knows. Juventus return from the international break next weekend at home against Chievo on Saturday before their Champions League group stage opener against Barcelona that next Tuesday night.
As much as Italy’s spot in the European Championship is important, that date with Barcelona is the one that should be the most important to everybody involved.
We’ll know more once Chiellini undergoes tests — whether it’s at Coverciano or back in Turin at J Medical — but for somebody who has had plenty of nagging muscle injuries over the last 18 months or so, this isn’t exactly the best of news.