MATTHIJS DE LIGT will be sidelined for a period of three months after successfully undergoing a shoulder operation, Juventus have announced. The centre-back is reported to have been struggling with a persistent shoulder niggle and arrived in Rome on Tuesday for the surgery.
With the new Serie A season set to begin on September 19, the Dutch international is faced with being sidelined for the first two months of the domestic campaign. A statement from the Turin club on Wednesday read: “This morning [de Ligt] underwent stabilisation surgery on his right shoulder, at the UPMC Salvator Mundi clinic in Rome.
“The operation, performed by Dr Volker Mushal, assisted by doctors Bryson Lesniak and Fabrizio Margheritini, and in the presence of Juventus’ Head of Medical Department, Luca Stefanini, was a complete success. The estimated recovery time is approximately three months,” the statement added.
The defender made 39 total appearances in his first season with Juventus, all but three of which were starts. There were, almost immediately, major expectations on the 21-year-old’s (broad) shoulders after he rejected interest from all over Europe to join Juve for €75 million (R1.5 billion) from Ajax in July 2019.
De Ligt came in for major criticism, at times, during his debut season in Turin, performances which, however, stabilised as the season went on. The young gun admitted he felt “much more comfortable” as the campaign was nearing its close. He said, “I feel much better physically now and mentally I am in a much, much better place,” in an interview with Sky Sport Italia last month.
De Ligt was instrumental in aiding his side to clinch a ninth consecutive Serie A crown, with their European season subsequently ending, in its wake. They were eliminated from the Champions League at the last-16 stage at the hands of Lyon last week. That defeat saw head coach Maurizio Sarri sacked and replaced by former Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo.