When the starting lineups came out for Juventus’ final friendly of the summer United States tour against Real Madrid, there was one very large omission: Weston McKennie. That’s because it was one of the very first things we heard Saturday was that McKennie was finally going to get some minutes during Juve’s tour through his home country.
But, there was Juventus’ starting lineup an hour before kickoff and McKennie wasn’t even named to the bench.
Turns out, there was a good reason for that.
According to Tuttosport and JuventusNews24.com prior to kickoff Saturday night, McKennie was forced to sit out Juve’s final friendly on U.S. soil due to a separated shoulder he suffered earlier in the day at training. McKennie, who hadn’t appeared in Juve’s first two friendlies, was tipped to start against Real Madrid when Juve manager Max Allegri talked with the club’s Twitch channel Saturday morning. However, that all changed, and McKennie was forced to miss out on the last friendly of Juve’s U.S. tour before they head back to Italy.
As you can see from the above photo of McKennie walking around the field at the Rose Bowl before Saturday night’s game, there is very much an extended sleeve or wrap on his left shoulder, something that hadn’t been seen at all throughout previous training videos or pictures.
Now, a major piece to this new injury concern is just how long McKennie could miss because of his separated shoulder. Tuttosport mentioned how the shoulder separation was quickly put back into place by Juventus’ training staff, but it doesn’t note just what happens next.
And for a Juventus midfield that is already dealing with uncertainty regarding how long Paul Pogba will be out because of his current knee injury, having another question mark now surrounding McKennie is certainly not how things wanted to be as they head back to Turin.
If McKennie is forced to miss any significant time, then Juve’s looking at a situation where two of their top midfielders will be out for an extended period, causing even more uncertainty to a position group that is suddenly looking short on numbers unless some of the young options — namely Nicolo Fagioli, Nicolo Rovella and Fabio Miretti — are going to be kept around and not loaned out before the summer transfer window closes.
But a lot like with Pogba, all we can do now is wait to see just what Juve’s official update will say about McKennie and his separated shoulder. Hopefully it’s not another long-term injury for a player who was really playing well the last time his previous long-term injury happened last season.