Well, folks. We’ve officially reached the point in Angel Di Maria’s Juventus career in which he’s had as many spells on the sideline due to injury as he had assists against Maccabi Haifa last week.
Not one. Not two. But three — count ‘em ... three injury absences.
The third and most recent one isn’t a surprise to anybody who watched Juventus’ latest European faceplant on Tuesday night against that same Maccabi Haifa squad in which he ran riot on during a three-assist performance just six days earlier. Di Maria grabbed at his hamstring and immediately requested a substitution all of 24 minutes into the 2-0 loss in Israel. Now back in Italy and in ritiro, Di Maria made his way back to J Medical to undergo the proper scans that revealed the 34-year-old Argentinian has a low-grade hamstring injury and will be out for the next three weeks, Juventus announced late Thursday morning.
That’s good news if you’re an Argentina supporter and wanted to see Di Maria at the World Cup next month. But it’s bad news if you support Juventus and wanted their biggest creative source actually get to play for an extended period of time before heading off to the aforementioned World Cup in Qatar.
The short yet official wording of the Di Maria diagnosis from Juventus’ website:
Angel Di Maria underwent diagnostic tests at J|Medical this morning, which revealed a low-grade lesion to the hamstring of the right thigh.
It will take around 20 days for the player’s complete recovery.
Ah, good. Di Maria will be back just in time to either play a few games before his next injury happens or play a few games before the World Cup break arrives. Good times, good times.
But it’s becoming more and more of a major issue that now both of Juve’s big summer signings are dealing with injury issues and will likely play limited minutes if they are to contribute prior to the World Cup. At least Di Maria has something on Pogba in that he’s actually played in a few games unlike the Frenchman, who is still slowly working his way back and in a race to be fit for France’s title defense.
Then again, when you’re depending on a 34-year-old to be a crucial creative source and you’ve got a club full of injury and training issues, this is the fire that you play with.
And for the third time this season, Di Maria’s fitness and injury issues will have cost him game time and prevented him from playing on a consistent basis. That was not part of the plan coming into the 2022-23 season, but it’s just another reality for this Juve team to try and deal with as seemingly everything goes wrong right now.