Despite his still-relatively short time Juventus, we have seen Weston McKennie play though an injury before. Because of that, it was rather noticeable to see him not pop back up after a couple of seconds on the Estadio de la Ceramica turf after being tackled in the middle of the second half Tuesday night.
A few hours after, there’s pretty good reason why.
According to reports from the likes of Sky Sport Italia, Romeo Agresti of Goal Italia and others in the Italian media, McKennie suffered a pair of broken bones — the second and third metatarsal — in his left foot as a result of a second-half tackle by Villarreal’s Pervis Estupiñán. McKennie tried to hobble off the field a minute after the whistle was blown, but that’s all he could muster, having to be assisted around the Villarreal goal and back to the Juventus bench because he couldn’t put any kind of weight on his left foot. He then reportedly underwent X-rays at a local hospital, which revealed the two broken bones in his left foot.
When asked how long McKennie could be out, Agresti responded: “Stop lungo.”
Translation: Long stop — which, according to reports, could be anywhere from two to three months, putting McKennie’s season in danger.
McKennie’s injury comes at a time when Juventus can’t afford to lose him or anybody else in general based on the current injury situation. McKennie was easily one of Juventus’ best players on the field Tuesday night, with his contributions to the attack resulting in some of the best scoring chances of the game outside of Dusan Vlahovic’s opening-minute stunner.
A lot like last season with Andrea Pirlo, McKennie had become a versatile option for Max Allegri, playing as a more natural box-to-box midfielder or even as a makeshift winger, cutting in from the left or right and taking advantage of his ability in the air.
But now, with McKennie looking at an extended absence due to injury, Juventus’ midfield suddenly becomes that much less dynamic than it already is. (And it’s not that great to begin with!) McKennie had really established himself as a quality option for Allegri, and this injury will certainly put pressure on others who have different attributes to get their acts together in a hurry or risk Juve’s midfield becoming a massive issue once again.
Maybe we will see McKennie again before the season is over if it’s closer to a two-month recovery rather than one that keeps him out for three months.
Either way, it’s just another hit to Juve’s now rather robust injury list — which is pretty crazy to think about the sheer volume of talent that will be hanging out at J Medical because they’re all injured.