With the Italian club season around the corner for Juventus, injury concerns are beginning to mount. Weston McKennie, who missed Saturday’s preseason friendly loss to Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and could risk missing up to a month, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The United States international was on the recovery trail after missing the end of last season due to a broken foot, which makes this latest injury is quite the blow. The 23-year-old is not expected to be in danger of not participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar come November, but it is worth noting that the United States have tune-up friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia scheduled for late September. It remains to be seen if his recovery timeline prevents him from joining Gregg Berhalter for their final friendlies before the World Cup.
As for Juventus, Paul Pogba is already missing the start of the season due to a knee injury, which could be severe enough to impact his status for the World Cup. Massimiliano Allegri has a ton of concerns in midfield given Pogba and McKennie’s preseason injuries. As a result, Manuel Locatelli and Denis Zakaria will feature heavily, but figuring out rotations for depth when Champions League play rolls around will be tough. This is a spot where Matthijs de Ligt is already missed as his comfort on the ball helped Juventus retain possession when first choice midfielders were missing.
As McKennie is a midfielder who is comfortable going both ways. Replacing him won’t be easy, but Juventus have will be used to it as he hasn’t had a competitive start for the club since February due to his foot injury. McKennnie did make an appearance on the final day of the season playing 14 minutes before taking part in the USMNT summer camp to regain fitness, but things will restart from square one with his latest injury.
The good news is that this dislocated shoulder is to a different part of his body so there isn’t much of a worry of his latest injury issues turning into chronic woes. Juventus will kick off their Serie A season against Sassuolo on Aug. 15 on Paramount+, but before that, Allegri does have one more friendly against Atletico Madrid on Aug. 7 to work through his midfield woes.