Sometimes making a list can be good. You know, like if you’ve got a terrible memory and have to go shopping for groceries over the weekend and the only thing you really can remember you need is another box of your favorite brand of cookies. You know you love cookies, but sometimes the other parts of your not-so-healthy diet go by the wayside, which means that the list is rather helpful.
Where am I going with this? Here, this is where we’re going.
And it’s not anything that involves a good list ... or cookies. I wish it did — especially the cookies part.
So let’s just go ahead and make a list of the growing section of the Juventus roster that is currently dealing with some sort of injury and is not expected to play against Empoli on Saturday night:
- Paulo Dybala
- Weston McKennie
- Federico Chiesa
- Federico Bernardeschi
- Daniele Rugani
- Alex Sandro
- Kaio Jorge
- Giorgio Chiellini
You see, Juventus has a total of 24 players on its senior team roster. Three of those are goalkeepers, so do the math and that gets you with 21 outfield players. As it stands right now, more than a third of Juve’s outfield players are hurt. Let me repeat that: HURT.
These aren’t just muscle injuries, either. Most of them are, but not all of them, and that’s the difficult part when it comes to some of these injuries is that a few of them are long-term ones like Chiesa and now McKennie and Kaio Jorge. Any instance in which there’s an extended absence this time of year like the two-month timetable la1id out for McKennie, it’s always going to be a worry that time will just run out on the season and we won’t see him again until preseason training in July.
But as I try to go back into the various sections of my memory and try to recall all of the Juventus injuries of the last few years — hell, now this is where having a list would have been handy, right? — it’s hard to remember a time where so many important players were all out at one time. Half of those eight players above are regular starters, and throw in Chiellini as well and you’ve got half a starting lineup right there. Hell, the Wings of Fede make it six players, with only Rugani and young Kaio Jorge really the only true depth pieces on that list.
Now all of that depth that Juventus looked like it had just a few weeks ago is gone. Some of these injured players will be back soon — then again, we thought that would happen with Bernardeschi two weeks ago and he’s still out, so I dunno — so Max Allegri’s options will at least be a little more plentiful come the early days of March. But at the same time, there’s bound to be a whole influx of Under-23 squad players over the next game or two simply because Juventus doesn’t have any other options. Whether they actually get some run off the bench remains to be seen because, remember, Max Allegri is still Juventus’ manager, but this is the kind of situation where he will have to dip into the U-23 pool and bring up at least a couple of players for the simple matter of his team having some cover off the bench.
That’s the easiest thing to figure out during all of this.
Well, outside of the fact that injuries are stupid and having close to a double-digit number of players out because they’re injured. That’s just incredibly stupid.