Italian outlet Football-Italia.net have this afternoon provided an update on the fitness of Juventus stars Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi, ahead of the Bianconeri’s Champions League last 16 second-leg clash with Tottenham.
The return of the Champions League last Tuesday evening saw the Serie A champions welcome Spurs to the Allianz Stadium for a much-anticipated last-16 clash.
And the hype ahead of kick-off proved to be wholly warranted following the full-time whistle, with the two sides having played out an absolutely thrilling affair in Turin.
A brace from Gonzalo Higuain within the first 10 minutes of the matchup saw Tottenham shell-shocked, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who showcased their ability to perform on the grand stage during the competition’s group stage versus both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, proved once again that they belong with the elite of European football en route to a 2-goal comeback.
On a knife-edge
The second-leg between the sides is set to be played out at Wembley in 16 days’ time, with Juventus boss Max Allegri having confirmed ahead of the Bianconeri’s Derby della Mole clash with Torino yesterday morning that both Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi were closing in on returns from their respective injuries.
Dybala made his return as a substitute during the derby, playing the final 25 minutes of Juve’s 1-0 win.
However, while the diminutive Argentinian’s presence provided a welcome boost for the Old Lady, it was not long before the Serie A champions, who have had appalling luck on the injury front of late, were dealt another pair of blows.
The first Juve star to be forced off with a fitness problem was Gonzalo Higuain, with the South American having been clattered by Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu early in the first-half, before eventually succumbing to the problem 10 minutes later.
Mario Mandzukic’s absence for the clash meant that Higuain had to be replaced by midfielder/winger Federico Bernardeschi, who, after setting up the only goal of the clash with a darting run and driven cross, was also forced off with an injury of his own shortly before the full-time whistle.
There were immediate concerns regarding Bernardeschi’s condition, with initial reports suggesting a hyper-extended knee and possible ligament damage.
And, as per the aforementioned report via Football-Italia.net this afternoon, the Italian international’s condition has not improved today, with the Juventus medical team hitherto unable to actually assess the possibility of ligament damage due to the level of swelling in Bernardeschi’s knee.
As such, the former Fiorentina man is viewed as a major doubt to be fit for the Bianconeri’s clash with Tottenham in a little over two weeks’ time.
However, there is more positive news regarding the condition of Gonzalo Higuain, with the Argentine’s ankle problem ‘just a knock’, meaning he should be back in action next week.
Higuain took to Instagram this morning to post a message to Juve’s fans, revealing that he would be ‘back soon’:
Buongiorno. Voglio ringraziare a tutti,amicci,compagni ,tifosi,gente che no ti conosce ma vuole il tuo bene. Grazie a tutti di cuore. Tornerò presto a esultare con la squadra e con tutti voi. #finoallafineforzajuventus⚪⚫ Buen dia. Quiero agradecer a todos los que me escribieron y se preocuparon por mi, amigos, compañeros, hinchas y gente que no te conoce pero quiere tu bien. Volvere muy rapido a festejar con el equipo y con ustedes. Gracias de corazón. 💪💪💪⚽⚽⚽⚽👏👏👏