Sami Khedira, only having joined Juventus this summer on a free transfer, has been ruled out of action for two months after suffering a Grade 2 hamstring tear just 25 minutes into a friendly with Olympique Marseille on Saturday, the Italian club announced.
Khedira, still just 28 years old, has been hampered by injuries for much of the past few seasons. He battled through back problems and concussion symptoms last season, missed most of the 2013/14 season with an ACL tear, and even failed to appear in the World Cup final in Brazil after suffering an injury in the warmups.
The injury is a massive blow to Juventus, who are looking to overhaul their midfield after longtime club fixtures Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal both left the club. Now, the reigning Italian champions have a paper-thin central midfield that consists of Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, 22-year-old Stefan Sturaro, and 21-year-old Gabriel who has yet to appear in Serie A play.
According to Tuttosport, Juventus could look to boost its midfield ranks by chasing Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano. That could prove difficult, however, considering it would be difficult to convince Barcelona to let go of a midfielder who logged nearly 4,000 minutes last season without the ability to replace him due to a transfer ban.
With so many players seeing little rest over the summer thanks to international duty, Juventus is struggling with injuries. Italian defenders Georgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli both picked up thigh injuries in the last two weeks, while Fernando Llorente is dealing with a twisted ankle.
The two month layoff would see Khedira miss six or seven league matches to start the year, a healthy chunk of minutes the Italian club now needs to fill. Those include top-level Serie A matches against Roma and Napoli, plus a pair of Champions League group stage games.