We have all been waiting, wondering, just how exactly summer signing Benedikt Howedes would fit into Juventus’ defensive picture this season.
That wait will have to ... wait a little while longer.
Juventus announced on Sunday that Howedes, who has yet to make his debut since signing on loan from Schalke in late-August, will miss the next month with a thigh injury he picked up in training last week. From juventus.com:
During Thursday's training session, Benedikt Höwedes sustained a thigh strain in his left leg affecting an area of scar tissue from a previous injury.
Initial examinations suggest it is a Grade 1-2 strain and the estimated recovery time is around four weeks.
A more precise recovery time will be established in due course following daily monitoring of the player and further diagnostic tests.
If the four-week timetable indeed plays out that way, then it puts him on track to return around the end of October. The last two games in October? Milan on the 28th and the return fixture in the Champions League group stage against Sporting.
But then again, we also thought we’d be seeing Howedes by now, so take that as you want.
With Mattia De Sciglio out until around the same time in October, it will be interesting to see how Max Allegri maneuvers around the right back position. Stephan Lichtsteiner, while playing solid yet unspectacular football right now, isn’t on the Champions League squad list, meaning there’s no natural right back available until either one of De Sciglio or Howedes return to full health. (And therein lies the problem with no Lichtsteiner on the squad list to begin with.)
Do we see Stefano Sturaro terzino’d more often?
Do we see Andrea Barzagli played as a right back?
Do we see a three-man defense come into play?
We’ll soon find out an answer when Juve face Olympiacos in their second Champions League game on Wednesday night. Hopefully there’s no right back drama happening.