Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will join his teammates in their trip to face Spezia on Sunday following his recovery from Covid-19, but he is unlikely to start the contest.
Ronaldo tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday, meaning he’s now eligible to play again after more than two weeks in self-isolation.
“Cristiano is fine, he wants to get back to working with his teammates and be with the squad,” Pirlo said of the superstar in his pre-match press conference on Saturday.
“He’s trained at home although it’s not the same as training on the pitch,” he added. “I don’t think he’ll play from the start, but he’s an important player and he’s coming with us to Cesena.”
? @Pirlo_official: “@Cristiano is fine, he wants to get back to working with his teammates and be with the squad.”#SpeziaJuve#ForzaJuvepic.twitter.com/4lcDmGpice
Ronaldo has missed four games for the Bianconeri since he first tested positive on October 13, and he had to remain in isolation after testing positive twice more in the weeks that followed.
Juve drew both of the Serie A games they played without the 35-year-old against Crotone and Hellas Verona, so his return will be most welcome for the team, even if he’ll start the game on the bench.
Indeed, Juve haven’t won in Serie A since their opening fixture against Sampdoria, aside from the 3-0 victory that was handed to them by default when Napoli did not travel to Turin for their scheduled fixture on October 4.
It’s not surprising Juve want to ease their star player back into action, though, as they’ll also want him to be fit for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash with Ferencvaros.
Juventus trail Barcelona in their European group having lost 2-0 to the Catalan giants in Ronaldo’s absence.