The way that Douglas Costa limped off the field Saturday afternoon, the very possibility of him taking part in Wednesday night’s Champions League opener against Atlético Madrid didn’t seem all that likely. That was before the reports of what went wrong or the official medical bulletin from the Juventus press team. It was simple speculation based on an injury that happened all of five minutes into Juve’s first game out of the international break.
The subsequent reports suggested that Costa was going to miss at least two weeks.
And, come Monday’s medical update for Costa (as well as Miralem Pjanic), it was basically along those same lines. From Juventus’ official website:
The diagnostic tests performed this morning at J⎮Medical showed no muscle injuries for Miralem Pjanic, who already performed a differentiated training on the field today.
Douglas Costa, instead, reported a medium-grade muscle injury to the semimembranosus muscle of the right thigh; in 15 days new checks will be carried out to precisely define recovery times.
I know everybody here considers them an expert in semimembranosus muscles, so we can just leave it at that. (Surprise, knowing where Costa grabbed after pulling up lame on Saturday, it’s one of the muscle in your hamstring!)
The worrying part is that after 15 days of Costa rehabbing there will be more checks “to precisely define recovery times.” Does that mean after 15 days he will be good to go? Does that mean there will be another 15 days out on top of the initial 15 days?
That part was somewhat unclear as to just how long Costa will really be out for.
Either way, what direction Maurizio Sarri goes with this lineup-wise will obviously be a key talking point. Sarri could just do what he did Saturday and make the winger-for-winger switch with Federico Bernardeschi replacing Costa on the right wing. Or, maybe this proves to be the chance to get Paulo Dybala his first significant minutes of the season even if it means playing him out wide rather than as a false 9 like Sarri has talked about during the preseason friendlies.
We’ll find out Wednesday ... or maybe sooner because now we don’t have the classic Max Allegri pre-match press conference quotes about his lineup where he rarely actually discusses who is playing besides the obvious choices. Your move, Maurizio.