Andrea Pirlo has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo is feeling ‘fine’, but conceded he probably won’t start against Spezia on Sunday.
News emerged on Friday evening from Turin that revealed that Ronaldo had tested negative for COVID-19 at the fourth attempt.
The result couldn’t have been more welcome for Juventus, who have won just one of their last four games without their star player. He was especially missed in the 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in their midweek Champions League encounter.
Although while Ronaldo has worked hard at home to maintain his fitness levels in self-isolation for nearly three weeks, Pirlo acknowledged he likely won’t be in top shape right away.
Making the line-up for the trip to Spezia on Sunday, therefore, is unlikely for Cristiano. But he’ll probably make the squad and get in some valuable game time all the same.
“Cristiano is fine, he wants to get back to working with his teammates and be with the squad,” Juve boss Pirlo told reporters in his pre-match conference on Saturday afternoon.
“He’s trained at home, although it’s not the same as training on the pitch. I don’t think he’ll play from the start, but he’s an important player and he’s coming with us to Cesena.”
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Center-backs Matthijs de Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini, meanwhile, remain unavailable for the Bianconeri this weekend with injuries.
While Paulo Dybala is suffering from a ‘physical issue’ as he eases his way to full fitness from a thigh injury.
“It’s just a physical issue for him,” said Pirlo on Dybala’s condition.
“I always said he wasn’t at 100 percent, so he might play the first game well and then struggle after that. He just needs time to train and recover his full fitness. I can assure you that a player doesn’t think about a new contract when he’s on the pitch.
“Aaron Ramsey isn’t at his best yet after Dynamo Kyiv either, so some need rest and we can’t afford it right now.”