After a few weeks in the clear, Juventus’ first team is dealing with another COVID-19 case.
Juventus announced Thursday night that midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has been diagnosed with the coronavirus after the club’s latest round of testing. Bentancur, thankfully, is asymptomatic and is in isolation. As per protocol, Juventus says it “is in contact with the relevant health authorities for the definition of an effective implementation of the protocols required to allow the training and competition activities of the Team Group.”
Bentancur, who has gone through a serious dip in form well before this latest blow to a season of frustration for him personally, is the first Juventus player to test positive for COVID-19 since a trio of players — Alex Sandro, Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs de Ligt — were diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of January.
What this means, obviously, is that Andrea Pirlo will be without another midfielder at a time when his team couldn’t necessarily afford to have anybody else miss time due to injury, COVID-19 or suspension. Weston McKennie is currently hobbled by a hip injury. Arthur’s return from injury is still a total question mark even though the Italian press continues to float out the idea that he wants to be available for the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Porto next week. Now, Bentancur will miss time in isolation and subsequently tries to test negative again.
Even though McKennie is trying to play through his injury, this means Juve has nearly as many midfielders out as they do available to Pirlo. Good times, good times all around. (Nicolo Fagioli, this could be your chance, young man.)