When Paul Pogba injured his knee the day after Juventus’ first friendly of their United States tour, there was a sinking feeling about what could happen down the road. It didn’t help that it took Pogba a few weeks to actually decide how he would approach trying to deal with the injury, eventually choosing to get conservative therapy rather than surgery to potentially solve the issue once and for all.
Now, after two days back on the training field at Continassa, the option that Pogba didn’t initially choose is now one he is going to go with — about six weeks after the initial injury in Los Angeles took place.
Juventus manager Max Allegri announced at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain that Pogba will undergo knee surgery on the meniscus injury he suffered in late July. Allegri did not sound very confident that Pogba will return to Juventus’ lineup prior to the World Cup break in mid-November, essentially saying that he is realistically expecting the Frenchman back after the club season resumes in January.
Allegri: "This morning @paulpogba trained for the second time, but then stopped, and it was then decided that he undergo surgery. We will realistically get him back in January."#PSGJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 5, 2022
Juventus confirmed Allegri’s announcement with a brief statement posted on the club’s website late Monday night:
This evening, Paul Pogba underwent selective external arthroscopic meniscectomy. The surgery, performed by Prof. Roberto Rossi in the presence of the Juventus Team Doctor, Luca Stefanini was a complete success.
As you can see, there’s no timetable for Pogba’s return to the field. Prior to Juventus’ announcement, many in the Italian press were reporting that Pogba could miss as much as two months because of the sudden change of course to get surgery.
And here we have to question being raised “Paul, why didn’t you just do this from the beginning?” Don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking it. You’ve probably got friends asking it, too, because that’s just the nature of the situation, folks.
Pogba, for as good as his intentions may have been, originally chose the shortest recovery time with the conversion therapy. If all went to plan, he would have returned at some point in September and then had anywhere between six or eight weeks to try and build up match fitness and then head off to the World Cup with France.
Again, Pogba had just returned to the point in his rehab where he could step onto the field and start doing some sort of work with his boots on. Now, that won’t be happening anytime soon.
It’s clearly another disappointing development in what surely has been a frustrating return to Juventus for both Pogba and the club that pays him a nice salary. Considering what the schedule is like this season, Pogba would still have plenty of the Serie A (and hopefully Champions League) season ahead of him if he doesn’t play for Juve prior to the World Cup break. But, at this point, you’re fair to wonder just how Pogba will be able to play or if his knee will be able to hold up at the World Cup or in the first few weeks back.
Hopefully this choice in terms of how to deal with his troublesome knee turns out better for the last one. That’s not just because Juventus’ midfield desperately needs him, but just for the simple fact of the Bianconeri are just that much better when he’s on the field.