Even though Federico Chiesa was set to miss out on the first Derby della Mole last weekend, his name was very much present on the list of call-ups on Luciano Spalletti’s Italy squad that is set to face Malta and England in a pair of Euro 2024 qualifiers. It was an interesting choice considering how Chiesa was going into it, with a race to full fitness always going to be in the cards.
That race, as of now, looks to have been a losing battle.
Chiesa has officially pulled out of the Italy squad ahead of Saturday’s qualifier against Malta in Bari and returned to Turin for further treatment on the muscle fatigue issue that popped up last week. Chiesa never fully trained with his Italian national team teammates, instead working with individually on the side to try and be healthy enough to be available at some point, most likely for England next Tuesday.
But now, with his return to Turin, Chiesa’s status for next Sunday’s showdown with AC Milan at the San Siro becomes a big question mark and one that will obviously be a huge piece to the puzzle over the next eight days before Juve leave for Milan. (Same goes for Danilo, as he had to be subbed off with an injury during Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Thursday night.)
#Chiesa lascia il ritiro della Nazionale e rientra a Torino. L’affaticamento muscolare accusato pre Derby non è stato ancora pienamente superato ⚪️⚫️— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) October 13, 2023
Considering that Chiesa pulled out of the squad entirely, the feeling that he was even going to be available for the bench against England must have been pretty low. So now the hope becomes that returning to Turin and everything that the club can provide will give him (and Danilo) the chance to get healthy enough to be available in some capacity for Milan on Sunday, Oct. 22.
But if Chiesa isn’t fit enough and can’t make the trip to Milan, Juve manager Max Allegri might be looking at the same kind of numbers crunch up front like he was for the Turin derby last weekend. The other half of Juve’s big starting duo up front, Dusan Vlahovic, didn’t go on international duty entirely because of the back injury that forced him to miss the Derby della Mole. Vlahovic has, at least, been training with the group in some capacity during the international break.
All of Juve’s other strikers are with the respective national teams — Moise Kean with Italy, Arek Milik with Poland and Kenan Yildiz having just made his senior debut with Turkey on Thursday.