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Giorgio Chiellini has returned to partially training with the squad

CAPITANO BACK! Well, kinda.

Juventus Training Session
Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

I don’t care what you tell me, Tuesday was a good day in Juventus Land.

This is because of what happened at Juventus’ training ground at Continassa, a familiar face was with the group for the first time in months. Well, maybe not for the whole time, but at least a part of it, as Giorgio Chiellini marked his return to training on the same day that Juventus began preparations for Saturday night’s game against Hellas Verona at the Bentigodi.

From Juve’s website and the Tuesday training recap:

Following an athletic recovery phase, the team focused on technique and ball possession.

Giorgio Chiellini returned to training, working partially together with the group.

At the end of today’s session, Federico Bernardeschi underwent magnetic resonance imaging at J|Medical, which highlighted fatigue of the soleus muscle of his right leg. Therefore, his availability will be assessed day by day.

Ah, now those are some nice pictures. And it’s proof that the one we got from the Juventus photo feed and then used for this little article isn’t actually from July or August when Chiellini was 100 percent healthy.

But, it just so happens that Chiellini’s return to training with the group — in a partial kind of way, of course — comes the day after Juventus named its squad for the Champions League knockout rounds, a list that included their rehabbing captain despite the fact that he’s still a few weeks away from being able to play in games again. It was that kind of announcement, no matter how expected Chiellini’s inclusion in the squad was, that had us wondering both when he will get back to training and then subsequently back into a competitive match in one way or another.

Well, we now know the answer to one.

We’re still weeks away from the second happening.

We knew that, though, seeing as Chiellini was always set to miss around six months after undergoing major ACL surgery in the beginning of September. Chiellini said in November that he would be back on the field “in February or March,” adding that he hopes that it’s the springtime when he makes his return. Seeing as we’re in February and March is next up on the calendar, it might as well be time to start thinking about where Chiellini fits into things knowing full well Juve will be competing on three fronts once again a few weeks from now.

If you don’t want to fill your head with how Maurizio Sarri is going to work Chiellini into the mix as he comes back from major knee surgery, just go ahead and look at the pretty pictures of Chiellini training again. Those should cheer you up — especially because he’s pretty damn happy about it himself ... and so are plenty of his friends.