At a time when Juventus couldn’t afford to have any more defenders get injured, of course one of Juventus last remaining defenders available to play gets injured during Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona.
The good news, if there is any good news, is that Juve might have avoided even more of a disaster than what could have happened with the subsequent medical exams.
Juventus announced Monday that Leonardo Bonucci underwent tests at J Medical following his early exit Sunday night and ruled out any kind of serious thigh injury. While he has basically been put on the day-to-day evaluation plan much in the same fashion that Giorgio Chiellini has when he had to go out injured in the win over Dynamo Kyiv, Bonucci is still being considered a doubt by many in the Italian press for Wednesday night’s Champions League showdown with Barcelona. And if that’s the case, that would mean Juve will likely enter the game with all of one healthy (natural) central defender in Merih Demiral.
The statement from the club is as follows:
An update on Leonardo Bonucci: the tests he underwent today did not reveal any muscle injuries to his right thigh, therefore his condition will be monitored day by day.
As we know from recent injury announcements, the timetable might not be all that on the money. Something that’s “day by day” might not end up being a few days out and that’s it. And that’s the reason why Bonucci is still very much a doubt for Wednesday night’s game against Barcelona.
Andrea Pirlo did mention after the Hellas Verona draw that the injury Bonucci is dealing with right now first came up in the Dynamo Kyiv game. Bonucci was not forced to leave that game like Chiellini was even though you could tell he was in some kind of pain in the final stages of the 2-0 win, but Sunday night’s reaggrivation of the injury was enough to force him out.
So what does Pirlo do if Bonucci is out? That’s the big question, and one that he very may well leave as a mystery when he speaks at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
We just have to wait and see, I guess. And if Demiral is the only center back available, then we maybe say a few prayers that Lionel Messi doesn’t run wild in Turin Wednesday night.