MILAN - Juventus left-back Paolo De Ceglie
will be out for at least three months after fracturing his
kneecap, meaning the Turin club may have to recall dropped
defender Fabio Grosso.
Juve said in a statement on Sunday that De Ceglie could need
surgery after the injury in Saturday's 2-1 win at AC Milan,
where winger Simone Pepe was forced to play as a makeshift
Possible replacements Zdenek Grygera, Giorgio Chiellini and
Armand Traore are also injured for a short time so there could
be a return for Grosso, dropped from the first-team squad after
turning down a move in the close season.
Left-back Grosso's case forms the basis of the Italian
players' association's dispute with Serie A over footballers
being left to train with the youth side if no longer wanted.
The union has threatened to go on strike over the issue and
any Juve move to draft 2006 World Cup winner Grosso back into
the side for Thursday's Europa League game against Salzburg
would strengthen the association's hand.
"I think there are now all the conditions to reach a rapid
collective agreement," AC Milan defender and union
representative Massimo Oddo, himself out injured for up to six
weeks, told reporters.
The trend of Serie A clubs banishing players for various
reasons has been growing.
Shock leaders Lazio sent Goran Pandev to the reserves last
season when he demanded a move but the striker won an
arbitration case and sealed a transfer to Inter Milan.
Italy striker Antonio Cassano looks set to be left out of
Sampdoria's squad for some time after insulting the club
president and although Inter and Juve have distanced themselves
slightly from a January bid, his future is unclear.
Juve have said they will consider Cassano's situation and
what to do in the transfer window at the appropriate time but
Luigi Del Neri's side are certainly down to the bare bones after
Jorge Martinez was also ruled out for two months.
The winger broke a metatarsal in the Milan game on Saturday
where the home side's Daniele Bonera was also carried off
although the Rossoneri said tests had excluded the possibility
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