Paulo Dybala is not at risk of surgery and Juventus are exploring options to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible, says head coach Andrea Pirlo.
Argentina forward Dybala sustained a knee injury in Juve’s 3-1 win over Sassuolo on January 10 and was only expected to miss around two to three weeks.
Having now missed a more substantial period of time, Dybala was reportedly in Barcelona this week to get a second opinion on the issue.
An injury-hit campaign has restricted Dybala to just 16 appearances in all competitions for Juve this term, but Pirlo – who also said striker Alvaro Morata, contending with a virus, needs to rest until Sunday – said surgery is not being considered at this time.
“Alvaro Morata needs to rest until Sunday. As for Paulo Dybala, we will look for the best solution to get him back as soon as possible,” Pirlo told a news conference previewing Saturday’s Serie A contest with Hellas Verona.
“[Dybala] is not at risk of surgery. We will evaluate the fastest treatment to get him back into the group as soon as possible.
“He had a consultation and now we see what the best treatment can be. Unfortunately, the times have lengthened, and we have not been able to have him available.”
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Juve’s clash with Verona is the first of five in the space of 16 days, including the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Porto, in which they will attempt to overturn a 2-1 deficit.
It is a crucial period for Pirlo’s men given they trail leaders Inter by eight points in Serie A, albeit the Nerazzurri have played a game more.
“The Scudetto is one of our objectives and we have a duty to continue trying to achieve it,” Pirlo added.
“We know that we have strong teams ahead of us, but we are Juventus and we have to keep fighting.
“There’s a lot of matches close together but we will make it a virtue of necessity. We knew from the start that it would be like this. Plus, [there is] the re-arranged game with Napoli. We are in the middle of this cycle of matches; we will have to do our best.
“Only yesterday have we had a full day of training; the other sessions were mostly recovery, which was needed. We worked well, we will apply the finishing touches and [on Saturday] we will try to be great.”