As Juventus Women prepare for their second title defense and one of the most challenging matchups in the Women’s Champions League Round of 32 that they could have drawn, they will have do so with one of their best and most important players.
The club announced Monday that star striker/winger Barbara Bonansea will undergo surgery in the next few days after breaking a bone in her left foot during Sunday’s friendly against Paris Saint-Germain. Bonansea, who had just been (unsurprisingly) called up for international duty with Italy the same weekend, will certainly miss Juventus Women’s WCL matchup against Barcelona on Sept. 1 and the Serie A Femminile season opener against Empoli three days later that the very least.
There was no timetable announced for Bonansea’s recovery as of this post being published. (That, of course, could change once she undergoes surgery, though.)
The official announcement, courtesy of juventus.com:
During the first half of the Women’s Cup final, played on Sunday in Hägendorf against Paris Saint-Germain, Barbara Bonansea suffered a fracture on the base of the fifth metatarsal of her left foot.
In the coming days, she will undergo osteosynthesis surgery.
Bonansea, who turned 28 years old two months ago, has arguably been Juventus Women’s best player during the first two seasons of the club’s existence. She led the team in goals in its inaugural season two years ago, finishing second in the league behind former Brescia teammate (and current AC Milan striker) Valentina Giacinti. Last season, with the additions of Italy teammate Cristiana Girelli and former England international Eni Aluko, the scoring burden wasn’t solely on Bonansea’s shoulders. She finished tied for second on the team with Girelli in goals with 13.
One of the leading forces during Italy’s run to the quarterfinals at the Women’s World Cup, it was set up perfectly for Bonansea and Co. to try and take that next step as a club despite their very short time of existence. That will be even tougher with Bonansea likely to miss both legs of the tie against Barcelona, which lost 4-1 to Lyon in the WCL final last spring.