Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain is set to miss the opening games of the Serie A restart after picking up an injury in training, while Milan have provided an update on the progress of Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he suffered a calf problem.
The 2019-20 Serie A campaign is about to get back underway following the coronavirus pandemic, with the first matches in the Italian top-flight scheduled for June 20.
It is shaping up to be a fascinating end to the season in Italy, with Juventus and Lazio virtually neck and neck as they aim to clinch the Scudetto. Perennial champions Juve lead the table on 63 points, but the Rome club – who have not won the league since 2000 under Sven-Goran Eriksson – are only a point behind.
However Juve could be forced to compete for the title without a key man, after Higuain suffered a knock in training on Thursday.
Argentina international Higuain pulled up with a muscle injury. Juventus said on Twitter that his injury did not appear too serious, but it would be monitored over the weekend.
They said: “During today’s training session, Gonzalo Higuain suffered a muscle strain on the posterior region of his right thigh. The tests performed at J Medical have ruled out any lesions. His condition will be monitored in the coming days”.
Higuain, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Chelsea but has returned to the first team picture following ex-Blues manager Maurizio Sarri’s move to Turin, has scored five goals in 23 Serie A appearances this season.
Title rivals Lazio also suffered a scare on Thursday, key midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic picking up a knee injury – however reports in Italy say that it is just a blow and he just needs to rest for a few days.
Milinkovic-Savic is a key figure in Lazio’s surprise title tilt, with four goals and five assists in 25 league games so far in 2019-20.
Elsewhere, Ibrahimovic has been important for Milan after rejoining the club earlier this year from LA Galaxy, however he picked up a calf injury in training last month which means he will also miss the restart.
It had been reported the Swedish striker had suffered a knee ligament injury that would have ended his season, however Milan were quick to say the knock was less serious, and have now said he is making good progress and will be checked again in a couple of weeks.
A club statement read: “Milan announces that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has undergone an examination to check the injury of the soleus muscle of his right calf today. The healing process proceeds well without complications. A new check is to be expected in about ten days.”
The league will begin again with two matches on June 20, with Torino set to host Parma while Cagliari visit Verona. Atalanta will then host Sassuolo the next day while Inter take on Sampdoria on June 21 as well.
Each of those matches will be part of completing the 26th round, with the 27th beginning on June 22. League-leaders Juventus headline that June 22 slate with a visit to Bologna, while AC Milan face Lecce and Fiorentina host Brescia on the same day.
The first full round of matches will then finish on June 24 with three matches, with the second full round then beginning on June 26 as Juventus take on Lecce.