Juventus could be without French midfielder Paul Pogba until at least 2023 following his recent injury. Pogba sustained an injury to his right knee in training on Saturday, feeling a pang in his leg at the end of a technical exercise.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report that the Frenchman was forced to stop training and rest and underwent medical tests in the following hours. Tests revealed a lesion of the lateral meniscus which, compared to the medial one, has more mobility and is subject to more stress, therefore more difficult and longer to rehabilitate
Gazzetta suggest that Pogba will almost certainly be operated on, a move that would put him at risk for the first part of Juve’s season, as well as missing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The club’s initial plan was for Pogba to be operated on within a few days in Santa Monica by Professor Mandelbaum. However, the pre-intervention consultation did not go as the player and the club hoped.
The situation would seem more serious than expected, with recovery times even longer than two months, and for this reason Pogba decided to wait. On Tuesday, the player left Marina del Rey, Juventus’ headquarters during the American tour, and flew to Italy from Los Angeles.
In Turin he will be visited by the Juventus staff, and then he could travel to France to be seen by a trusted doctor who will give a further opinion on the condition of his right knee.
Gazzetta also suggest that Pogba may not want to resort to a more invasive intervention, which would be more decisive but would drastically extend the hospital stay by two or maybe even three months. The knee can be operated on in two ways: with a meniscectomy, which consists in the removal of the broken piece of meniscus, or with a suture, or the seam of the area of injury of the meniscus.
From the first tests carried out in America, it was thought that Pogba’s problem could be solved with the first type of operation, which is done arthroscopically and provides for a recovery time of 40-60 days. In cases where the lesion is very peripheral, however, suturing is recommended, which guarantees 90 percent healing but with longer recovery times, ranging from 3 to 5 months. The suture is usually recommended for younger people, to avoid taking a meniscus away from an athlete of twenty. On the other hand, however, lateral meniscectomies are at high risk of chondrolysis, or rather of very rapid degeneration of cartilage cells that leads the knee to become more fragile and less elastic.
According to the evaluations of the consultations in America, it would be more appropriate – and profitable – to proceed with the second type of intervention. In this case, Pogba would not only have very few chances of going to Qatar (it would take half a miracle to make it in 4 months) but would no longer miss just 9 games (7 in the league and 2 in the Champions League), presumably returning after the break in October, but he would risk returning to the field with Juventus even in 2023, after the long break for the World Cup.
It would be a huge problem for the player and for the club. For this reason, the medical staff, in full agreement with Pogba, took their time: before making such a painful decision, which would weigh heavily on the player’s career and also on Juventus’ season, they want to try to understand if the more invasive intervention can be avoided.
It is likely that the doctor of the French national team will also be involved in the consultations and that Christian Fink, the specialist from Innsbruck who has already operated on Chiesa, Zaniolo and Chiellini, will be consulted. However, it is difficult to avoid the operation: in his conditions, conservative therapy would be of little use. At the moment, however, doctors and players seem oriented towards meniscectomy, which is still the most likely solution. The decision will be made in the next few hours.