Brace yourselves, folks. Giorgio Chiellini might be injured again.
We don’t know to what extent. We don’t know if he will even end up missing a Juventus game when Serie A starts back up next weekend. But, we know there is one thing that’s true about Chiellini’s current injury status: There is something up with his knee and he is suddenly being considered a doubt for Italy’s game against Poland on Sunday night.
We know this because Italy manager Roberto Mancini told us so. We also know this because the FIGC’s official website also refers to Chiellini as a doubt for the Poland match even though he’s made the trip with the rest of the squad. We got this from Mancini himself during his pre-match press conference on Saturday ahead of the Azzurri’s trip to Gdańsk:
“We need to assess the situation with the player and we’ll do so tomorrow morning. He’s doing a lot better than when he arrived. We’ll see tomorrow, but we’re quite positive. In any case, if he’s well, he’ll play, otherwise he’ll play against the Netherlands on Wednesday.”
Whenever a manager refers to an injury situation as needing further assessment, I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach. And when it comes to any kind of injury assessment involving Chiellini and that uneasy feeling in my stomach becomes a little more noticeable.
As Mancini says, if Chiellini’s condition improves, then he will play against the Netherlands. But what if Chiellini doesn’t play against the Netherlands? What if this knee injury that Chiellini is suddenly dealing with lingers into Juventus’ first busy part of the schedule that starts next weekend and sees Champions League group stage play get underway a few days later? Juventus is already down one of its best defenders for a few more weeks at the very least, and the last thing Andrea Pirlo needs to see happen is Chiellini become even more of an injury concern than he is most of the time anyway.
We can all agree that even the slightest discussion of Chiellini being injured is not what Juventus need to see take place right now. Yet, here we are.