As Danilo walked up to the front door of J Medical on Monday morning, the pace of his steps were about as slow as they could be. You could see that the injury that he suffered in Juventus game against Lazio 36 hours earlier was still very much bothering him and that the news to come out of J Medical in a couple of hours was never going to be all that good.
And it was.
Juventus announced later Monday afternoon that Danilo will be out for at least eight weeks due to “a medium degree lesion of the adductor longus muscle of the left thigh.” That means the early stages of Saturday’s win over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome was the last time we will see Danilo in the 2021 calendar year, and that he could very well be out until the end of January or early February with how Juventus has worded the timetable for his return.
The short statement is as follows:
The diagnostic tests Danilo underwent this morning at J|Medical showed a medium degree lesion of the adductor longus muscle of the left thigh. The initial recovery time is expected to be approximately eight weeks.
Yep. Not good. Not good at all.
This, of course, will have a trickledown effect when it comes to the fullback depth that Max Allegri will have over the next couple of months. We know that Mattia De Sciglio has been out and his return from injury is relatively unclear at this point, which means Juan Cuadrado is essentially the only player Allegri has that can play as a right back. And with Danilo out injured, it not only takes away from depth, but also means that a bit of tactical and formational flexibility is now gone because of the 30-year-old Brazilian’s ability to play in a three-man defense, something that looked to be Allegri’s initial plan against Lazio over the weekend.
How Allegri manages all of this will suddenly become one of the more important things that happens over the next few weeks considering that there now is nobody to give Cuadrado a breather in defense if De Sciglio doesn’t come back relatively soon. (Who knew in the year 2021 that we would be hoping for Mattia De Sciglio to come back, by the way.) But with Danilo out for the next two months — at minimum, it sounds like — there’s going to be a whole of creativity from Allegri to make sure he doesn’t burn out one of his squad’s more important players.
(And remember, there’s no lengthy holiday break in Serie A like there used to be.)