October 17, 2021

Juventus defender Bonucci tests positive for coronavirus after returning from Italy international duty

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The 33-year-old returned a positive test on Thursday, a day after watching from the bench as his country beat Lithuania in World Cup qualifying

Leonardo Bonucci has tested positive for coronavirus, Juventus have confirmed.

The 33-year-old central defender returned the test on Thursday after returning from international duty with Italy.

He is now isolating at home, with Andrea Pirlo given a selection headache ahead of some big fixtures in Serie A.

Which games will Bonucci miss?

Bonucci tested positive a day after watching from the bench as Italy continued their perfect start to 2022 World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 win over Lithuania on Wednesday.

He had started his country’s two previous games, playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 wins over Northern Ireland and Bulgaria.

He has played in all but six of Juve’s league games this season, captaining the side until Giorgio Chiellini’s return from long-term injury, but is now set to miss this weekend’s Derby della Mole against Turin rivals Torino.

Juve’s following fixtures are against Napoli, Genoa and Atalanta, and Bonucci could target the latter of those games for his return.

Juventus are 10 points off the top of Serie A with 11 games to play.

Where does this leave Juventus?

Juventus had earlier confirmed reports that Merih Demiral had returned to Turin during the international break after testing positive for Covid-19.

With Bonucci and Demiral out, Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt may be expected to start Saturday’s game at Torino.

Gianluigi Buffon is out as he serves a one-match ban for blasphemy, although Wojciech Szszesny has been preferred as No 1 in the league so far this season.

Paulo Dybala hasn’t played in the league since January while Aaron Ramsey suffered a thigh problem before the international break, but Alex Sandro could make a return.

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