It was two weeks ago that word came out of Italy that Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro were going to be available to play once again when Juventus came back from the international break. And with an international in between that piece of news and Juventus’ next game, there was plenty of time to wait to see if that was actually going to right or wrong.
Based on what we heard Tuesday, that looks to be more right than wrong as of right now.
Both de Ligt (offseason shoulder surgery) and Sandro (thigh injury the day before the start of the season) returned to full training on Tuesday, five days before Juventus returns from the November international break with a game against Cagliari in Turin this Saturday night. And it just so happens to come at a time when some other pieces of Juventus’ defense — namely Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci — won’t be taking part in the Cagliari game because they themselves are dealing with injuries.
Here is what Juventus’ official website told us about Tuesday’s training session:
After a two-day break, Juventus’ preparation resumed whilst awaiting the return of the players from their national team. Next up on the calendar is a Serie A match on Saturday evening, at 8.45 pm, against Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium.
The team, therefore, returned to work at the Training Center, focusing on ball possession and technical-tactical exercises.
Alex Sandro and De Ligt carried out the entire session with the group. Leonardo Bonucci continued his rehabilitation following the muscle injury to his right thigh as reported in the national team, while Chiesa, Dybala, Ramsey and Chiellini carried out a personalised session on the field as scheduled.
That part in bold to begin the third paragraph is why we’re here. We were all waiting for that one sentence that said de Ligt and Sandro were back in full training because it meant they are that much closer to appearing in a game. That’s especially true in de Ligt’s case because we had the added caveat that he needed to get clearance from a shoulder specialist since his surgery — one that he had on his 21st birthday! — was such a delicate procedure. (And also one that could very easily become a major issue again if not treated properly.)
Regardless, five days before Cagliari makes their way to Turin to face the reigning Italian champions, Juventus is getting two very important players back in the fold. The Italian media was already predicting that de Ligt was going to be back in the starting lineup for the Cagliari game on a few minutes after Bonucci announced his injury over the weekend. That might not be true for Sandro, but with such a busy five-week period coming up, having him back on the left wing will certainly be a boost for Andrea Pirlo and the rest of the squad.
So, welcome back, guys. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you two on the field at the same time.