The beginning of March is looking a lot like the end of February for one distinct reason: A Juventus player is set to miss some time due to injury.
Leonardo Bonucci, who was only “fit” enough to be on the bench for Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia win over Fiorentina, has been ruled out for at least seven days with a muscle injury in his left calf, the club announced Thursday. Juventus ay that Bonucci will be re-evaluated after that seven-day period, which means he could be out even longer than that knowing full well that he’s been dealing with this for a little while. That means Juventus’ Champions League Round of 16 second leg tie against Villarreal on March 16 is very much a question mark at the moment.
Juventus, however, did welcome back Federico Bernardeschi, Paulo Dybala and Daniele Rugani to partial training with the group on Thursday. On top of that, one of the Under-23’s best players, center-back Koni De Winter, has also returned to training after dealing with a shoulder injury for the the last month, so it’s not all bad news.
The details on Bonucci’s injury are as follows:
Leonardo Bonucci, who felt persistent calf discomfort following the match in Empoli, was today subjected to radiological tests at J|Medical which showed an elongation of the left soleus. His condition will be re-evaluated in seven days.
Bonucci, despite this current injury, was able to have one hell of a performance last weekend in Juventus’ win over Empoli. He was clearly not 100 percent, essentially gritting his teeth through the entire appearance knowing full well that Juventus had no other option considering all other central defenders not named Matthijs de Ligt were out injured.
With Rugani back to partially training with the group on Thursday, who knows what his status will be for Sunday’s visit by Spezia. The odds say that his match fitness won’t be at the kind of levels for him to start, with a return to the starting lineup next weekend against Sampdoria a much more logical kind of situation.
For the record, as of this being written, La Gazzetta dello Sport’s lineup predictor — which is usually pretty on the money most weeks — says that it will be Danilo pairing with de Ligt in the center of a four-man defense this Sunday against Spezia.