Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri confirmed in a press conference that Paul Pogba has made a full recovery and is back in training, with the aim of playing in next week’s Champions League second leg against Real Madrid.
Pogba tore his hamstring in mid March and many believed he would be sidelined for two months at least, if not the full season. However, it would appear that he’s on his way back, as Allegri hopes to have him available to start next week.
The 22-year-old hasn’t played since injuring himself against Borussia Dortmund in Champions League play. His last league match was a full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Sassuolo. Since then, Andrea Pirlo has been forced back into a bit more defensive midfield position than he’s used to, and he has proven to be a slight liability in that role. Juventus lost just once in the 26 Serie A matches before Pogba was injured, of which he appeared in 22. Since, the club has lost twice in eight matches he’s missed, but have still managed to clinch the league title.
He could return this weekend as a substitute as Allegri looks to test out his young midfielder’s injury in Serie A play against Cagliari in advance of the Champions League match.
However, the prospect of Pogba returning to the mix next week doesn’t have everyone excited. Former Manchester United player Paul Scholes believes the Italian side shouldn’t risk his health, saying instead Juventus can rest players this weekend in league play and make up for his loss that way.
“I think it would be a little bit rookie to bring Pogba back straight from injury, especially because Juventus played so well,” Scholes said. “I think Juventus have an advantage for the second leg, as well. They’ve already won the league of here and Madrid have a tough game at home [to Valencia]. Juventus can afford to rest players at the weekend after winning the league. They can go into that game [against Real Madrid] nice and rested up next week.”
Holding a 2-1 lead and going on the road against a Real Madrid squad sure to pour on the pressure in the second leg, Pogba would be invaluable to the Italian giants should he be ready.