Juventus captain Chiellini expected to miss six months after knee surgery

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The 35-year-old ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last week and is expected to be out of action until March

Juventus will have to make do without captain Giorgio Chiellini for around six months after he underwent an operation on a knee injury on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old defender suffered a rupture in his anterior cruciate ligament during training with the Bianconeri last Friday, immediately ruling him out for several months.

He was subsequently withdrawn from the Italy squad last week, with Lazio centre-back Francesco Acerbi taking his place for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Armenia and Finland.

Meanwhile, Chiellini was sent to Austria to have surgery on his right knee and the Serie A champions have revealed he could be back before the season comes to an end.

"This afternoon, Giorgio Chiellini underwent surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee," a statement on Juventus' website read.

"The intervention, performed at the Hochrum clinic in Innsbruck by Professor Christian Fink in the presence of the Juventus Club Doctor, Dr. Tzouroudis, was perfectly successful.

"The expected recovery time is around six months."

If all goes according to plan then Chiellini is likely to return in March, meaning he could be fit for the Champions League quarter-finals should Juve reach that stage.

The 35-year-old has made 384 league appearances since joining Juve from Roma in 2005.

An eight-time Serie A champion, he was a key part of the defence under former coach Massimiliano Allegri, although muscle problems restricted him to just 22 league starts last season.

Chiellini was back in the starting XI for his side's opening Serie A game of the current campaign and even netted the game's only goal as Maurizio Sarri's team beat Parma 1-0.

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But his injury saw him restricted to the sidelines as his side played out a thrilling 4-3 victory over rivals Napoli on Sunday.

In April, the Italy international told DAZN he expected to play for around two more years before taking up a backroom role at Juve.

"Let me play another year or two, then I'll join the technical staff," he said. "For me Juventus is a family, when I'm outside the squad I suffer with my companions, I can't help them."

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