On the same day in which Giorgio Chiellini returned to individualized training on a side field at Continassa, he has gotten news that he’s heading back to isolation.
Juventus announced Saturday that Chiellini has tested positive for COVID-19 and headed back into insolation as current procedure requires. Yes, back into it because he had been in quarantine over the past couple of days after having a close contact with somebody who had tested positive a week ago. But everything looked all clear as Chiellini rolled out to the first training session of 2022 ... until it wasn’t.
The hopeful news is that because Chiellini didn’t take part in training with the rest of his teammates, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Giovanni Albanese, is that he didn’t have much (or any) close contact with them.
Chiellini is the third senior team player to test positive in the last two days, joining Arthur and Carlo Pinsoglio as the current crop of Juventus players in isolation. Chiellini is very much the biggest name at the club to test positive to date this season, and the timing of it comes at a time in which his status for Juve’s return to the field next week against Napoli is now very much in doubt.
As it looks now with Chiellini out, Juventus will head into the start of this crucial January stretch with just three central defenders — Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani. Throw in the absence of Danilo until the final weeks of January and the top choice to come up from the Under-23 squad Koni De Winter also testing positive for COVID earlier this week and options are very much limited for Max Allegri going into such a busy stretch of the schedule.