Juventus reveal knee ligament damage for Pirlo

Juventus have confirmed that Andrea Pirlo has sustained knee ligament damage.

The 34-year-old hobbled off of the pitch on the quarter-hour mark of the Bianconeri’s 1-0 victory over Udinese on Sunday, with no immediate word as to the extent of his injury.

After a series of medical tests on Monday afternoon at the Fornaca Clinic, the Turin outfit have now revealed that the Italy international has received second-grade damage to the medial collateral ligament of his right knee.

An estimated recovery time for the veteran regista has not been released by the Juventus staff, though it is likely Pirlo will be sidelined until at least early February, as such issues generally require upwards of eight weeks to heal.

Being without the talismanic playmaker is a massive blow for the Serie A leaders, who face a crucial Champions League contest with Galatasaray on December 10 in Istanbul in which they’ll need to come away with a draw at minimum to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

Pirlo’s lay off will likely see Claudio Marshisio, who lost his place in the starting eleven to the rising Paul Pogba due to an injury of his own early this season, reenter the fold alongside the young Frenchman and Arturo Vidal in central midfield.

Yet despite capable cover existing in the Bianconeri ranks, Juventus lose a dimension of their attack that is heavily relied upon with Pirlo on the treatment table, as none of his teammates can provide the type of pinpoint service from deep-lying positions that he has become famous for, first with AC Milan and later with his current employers.

Antonio Conte may be forced to reshuffle his line-up and move away from his preferred 3-5-2 formation as a result, the Italian tactician having deployed his men in a 4-3-3 set up in Europe against Real Madrid earlier this term in a viable alternative, to compensate for the need for a more direct approach with Pirlo out.

Juventus face a rather favourable run down the stretch in Serie A ahead of the new year, with Bologna, Sassuolo and Atalanta coming up on the docket, but the crunch encounter with Galatasaray remains the main focus for the northern giants and will provide a true test of how the side will cope without such a vital component.

image: © bianconero

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