Juventus have suffered a huge blow as an injured Ronaldo is unavailable to face Atalanta on Sunday.
Andrea Pirlo has announced Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be in the squad to face Atalanta in Sunday’s Serie A match.
Ronaldo has a flexor problem that he sustained from last weekend’s 3-1 win over Genoa. He wasn’t able to train normally this week, which convinced Pirlo to play it safe by resting him for Sunday.
🔴OFFICIAL: Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the match against Atalanta, Andrea Pirlo announced.
— FGFootball (@fgfootball_) April 17, 2021
The Juventus boss, however, hopes to have Ronaldo back for the club’s next game against Parma in Turin on Wednesday.
Paulo Dybala is set to start on Sunday alongside Alvaro Morata instead.
“We have an important absentee,” said Pirlo in his pre-match conference on Saturday.
“Cristiano will not be taking part in the game due to a problem with his flexor. It would be too risky for us to bring him to Bergamo.
“We hope he can recover for Wednesday.”
“Cristiano’s issue occurred after the last game. He wasn’t able to push himself the way he wanted to in training this week. We prefer not to risk it, so Dybala will start tomorrow.”
Pirlo later revealed that fatigue has also played a factor behind Ronaldo’s absence for this weekend.
The 36-year-old has played almost non-stop since the winter break ended in January. He has featured in 26 matches in all competitions, including all three of Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers in March.
“Cristiano played more than was expected in the national team, otherwise he would have returned earlier,” added Pirlo.
“The accumulation of fatigue is a problem for everyone.”
🎙 @Pirlo_official: "After Covid, @bonucci_leo19 has been doing specific work to get back to top form. @Cristiano played more than was expected in the national team, otherwise he would have returned earlier. The accumulation of fatigue is a problem for everyone."#AtalantaJuve
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 17, 2021
On the bright side for Juventus, Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie are available to face Atalanta.
While Leonardo Bonucci, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, has been hard at work to return to his best.
Federico Bernardeschi, though, remains unavailable due to COVID-19.