One of the biggest mysteries of Sunday’s 2-0 win over Brescia was the decision to throw Miralem Pjanic on as a sub in the second half. It wasn’t necessary in the context of the game, and the Bosnian badly needed a rest. But Maurizio Sarri sent him on, and seven minutes later he overstretched trying to defend a ball in his own box and stayed on the ground, clutching his groin.
It looked like a bad one. Even the player himself clearly thought so, as evidenced by the fierce punch he gave the turf on his way off the field.
We’ve seen Pjanic come off in situations like this, sure he was in for a lengthy absence, only to see him (and the club) dodge a bullet and only miss a game or two. Fortunately, it looks like this is one of those times.
Juve released a brief statement early on Monday, indicating that Pjanic’s tests revealed no serious muscle injuries, diagnosing him with “mild fatigue in the right adductor.”
This is really good news for Juventus, who can’t really afford a depth crisis in midfield with a huge set of fixtures coming up. Pjanic is certainly out for the team’s trip to SPAL on Saturday, but could be ready in time for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 the following Wednesday - indeed, some reports indicate he is expected to be available. Considering the fact that that game will be against his old team, Olympique Lyon, there will certainly be some motivation for him to make it back.
After that game comes a crunch league tie against Inter and then the second leg of the Coppa Italia against AC Milan. Not the kind of sequence you’d like to have one of your most important midfielders - misfiring or not - on the shelf for.
Fortunately, barring any setbacks, that doesn’t look like it will be the case.