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Paul Pogba has a knee injury, will miss Juve’s friendly vs. Barcelona (UPDATED)

Let the “so it begins” memes come out of hiding.

Juventus v Chivas - Preseason Friendly Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

The Juventus social media team took the Twitter machine Sunday afternoon with a shot of Paul Pogba standing on the sidelines at Loyola Marymount University. He had a ball in his hands, a smile on his face and look about as relaxed as you would expect him to be as he stood in the Southern California sunshine on a late-July day.

The problem? His teammates were training just a few yards away from him.

That’s because Pogba has suffered what Juventus reported on its official website Monday afternoon in the United States as a “lesion of the lateral meniscus” in his right knee. which will keep him out of his squad’s friendly in Dallas against Barcelona on Tuesday night. According to Juve’s release, Pogba will undergo further scans with a specialist in the coming hours to see whether he needs to undergo surgery in the coming days to repair his torn meniscus.

From Juve’s official website:

Following the pain reported in his right knee, Paul Pogba was subjected to radiological investigations which revealed a lesion of the lateral meniscus. In the next few hours he will undergo a specialist orthopedic consultation. Therefore, he will not take part in the trip to Dallas to continue treatment.

Well, that doesn’t sound great. Hopefully the upcoming scans go better than the first ones.

This is a vast change from what was reported as the Italian media first got a hold of the story come Monday morning in Italy. While there was no mention of Pogba missing training due to injury in Juve’s recap of the training sessions that they posted on their official website on Sunday night, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported in Monday’s edition that Pogba did side work in the swimming pool and at the team hotel before watching Sunday afternoon’s training session.

Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti reported earlier in the day that Juve “aren’t worried about Pogba’s condition” and that the situation would be clearer as time went on Sunday. Sky Sport Italia went so far to say that Juve wasn’t going to be conducting any sort of scans ... until they did and revealed some not very good news.

This sudden development very much puts his status for the start of the Serie A season in doubt. There is, as you probably expected, a wide range of estimates now coming from the Italian media as to how long Pogba will be out for. Some say it will be at least a couple of weeks, others are already saying we won’t see Pogba until late-August or September if he does undergo surgery.

But this is very different than the vibe we were getting from the Italian media less than 24 hours earlier when things just appeared to be minor and Pogba would be held out of the friendly against Barcelona as a precaution. That’s a pretty big development in the wrong direction, and just might be the kind of signal that Juve needs a little more midfield depth than they originally thought they did.