Mario Mandzukic is the latest Juventus player to be sidelined on international duty, with Croatia Coach Ante Cacic calling it a “potentially serious” injury.
The Croatian striker played in the World Cup qualifiers against Finland, scoring the only goal of the game before limping off with an ankle injury. Speaking after the match, Cacic explained that it could be worse than expected:
“Mario’s problem is potentially serious, as he limped away despite the fact he has a very high pain threshold.
“Over the next few days we’ll see the extent of the issue and work out what is to be done next.”
On the plus side, Marko Pjaca is recovering well from the cruciate ligament injury that has kept him out of action for almost seven months and is close to his Juventus return. The 22-year-old won’t be rushed back into the squad but he is expected to return to training at Vinovo next week and could return to full fitness by the end of the month.
Sami Khedira is expected back in the squad for Juve’s match against Lazio next Saturday having spent the international break returning to match fitness following his latest injury.
Claudio Marchisio is also scheduled to return to the team after missing the last 4 weeks of the season having aggravated his left knee. The midfielder underwent surgery last year and needed “specialist therapy and a tailored regime for muscular strengthening” over the course of the last month.
Mattia de Sciglio escaped serious injury in the 3-0 defeat to Barcelona and his agent confirmed at the end of September that he would return in three to four weeks, meaning he could be back in action towards the end of October or beginning of November.
Benedikt Howedes is still sidelined with a thigh-strain he sustained in a training session on 24th September and will take at least 4 weeks to recover. The defender will miss the league game against Lazio and the Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon, but could be back in the squad for the visit to Udinese.
Finally, Miralem Pjanic is recovering from the thigh strain he suffered in the warm up before Juve’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Olympiacos. The midfielder underwent tests which “revealed a strain of the quadriceps muscle in his right thigh” and Bosnian is expected to “undergo further checks in order to set a clearer timescale for his return to action.”