Some injury news came down the pike today, as Juventus confirmed that Sami Khedira would be undergoing knee surgery.
Khedira missed Sunday’s game against Sassuolo due to problems with the joint, and in a training dispatch the club confirmed that he would be undergoing “arthroscopic cleaning,” commonly known as keyhole surgery, on Wednesday in his native Germany.
Inter’s Nicolo Barella underwent the same procedure a week ago, and was given an estimated recovery time of four to six weeks, so a similar timeline should be a reasonable expectation for Khedira, although the fact that Khedira is 10 years older with an extensive history of injury issues could affect that. What’s absolutely certain is that he won’t play again until after the Christmas break.
Khedira has played in 17 games (13 starts) in all competitions this year, contributing one assist. He’s generally been a drag on the team in attack, lacking pace in midfield and averaging only 26.2 pass attempts per match. That’s a comically low number for a midfielder, especially in a system like Maurizio Sarri’s. He still brings a high level of tactical intelligence to the team, but his body simply won’t allow him to make use of that anymore, at least not at this level, and he’s only completed 90 minutes twice this season—and one of those games saw Sarri forced to use all three of his changes due to injuries by the hour mark.
One can reasonably assume that this means a lot of time in the starting XI for Rodrigo Bentancur between now and February. The Uruguayan has been playing well this season, and if there was ever an opportunity to truly cement his place in the team over Khedira, this might be it. Emre Can might see a smattering of playing time as well in domestic competition, but Bentancur is almost a lock to be the first choice.
We here at BWRAO never condone celebrating an injury—these men we write about are human beings, after all—but if Bentancur manages to Wally Pipp Khedira over the next month, it might end up significantly benefiting the team. We’ll see how things unfold as his recovery proceeds.