Massimiliano Allegri is not sure Paulo Dybala is ready to start for Juventus, as the coach considers how to replace the injured Gonzalo Higuain for Sunday's Serie A game against Atalanta.
Dybala made his return from an absence of six weeks due to a hamstring injury in Juve's 1-0 derby win at Torino last time out, with Higuain substituted early in that game after picking up a fitness problem of his own.
Higuain is expected to miss the home match against Atalanta and, although his ankle injury is not serious, Dybala will not necessarily replace him.
Allegri's men face Atalanta again in the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday and then take on Tottenham in the return fixture of a Champions League round-of-16 tie early next month, with the Juventus coach planning to reintroduce Dybala to action gradually.
Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio are ruled out of the Atalanta match and Allegri confirmed Federico Bernardeschi may need surgery on a knee injury, although Blaise Matuidi is back from a thigh issue.
"It will be difficult for Higuain to play tomorrow," Allegri told reporters on Saturday.
"Bernardeschi will be re-evaluated in the coming 20 days. If by that time the conservative treatment has not had the desired effect, we'll see if he needs an operation. Unfortunately, that is the situation with Federico. Apart from De Sciglio and Cuadrado, everyone else is at my disposal.
"Yesterday [in training] I tried Dybala in the striker role, but it's unthinkable that after 40-45 days of not playing that he can play the full 90 minutes for the next three games, so we'll have to manage him carefully.
"He played around half an hour against Torino, so it's about finding the right fitness levels in a decisive moment of the season.
"Matuidi and [Miralem] Pjanic will play tomorrow, and then I'll choose one of [Rodrigo] Bentancur, [Claudio] Marchisio or [Stefano] Sturaro to play with them. Bentancur has a great future ahead of him, he's 20 years old and has a lot of great quality, he will be a major player for Juventus.
"[Gianluigi] Buffon will play tomorrow, as will [Stephan] Lichtsteiner and I'll choose one of [Mehdi] Benatia or [Daniele] Rugani."
Atalanta are winless in four games in all competitions ahead of Sunday's trip to Turin, with Gian Piero Gasperini's men exiting the Europa League on Thursday despite a 1-1 home draw with Borussia Dortmund.
"Compliments to Atalanta with how they handled the Europa League," Allegri added. "I'm sorry that they were eliminated. Italian teams need to move forward in Europe even if it is very difficult.
"Atalanta will want to get right back at it - and Wednesday like us they will be fighting to reach the final of the Coppa Italia. They are a very physical team that plays well and we will have to handle them in the right way.
"Tomorrow is the first game of an important cycle of matches before the international break from here until our game with SPAL [on March 17]."
16 de diciembre 2018
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|
|Canelo v Fielding: What next for three-weight champion Alvarez?|
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
15 de diciembre 2018
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|
|Valverde not desperate for new centre-back amid talk of Christensen loan|
|Toulouse and Saracens stay perfect in Champions Cup|
|Kovac lauds Bayern´s best performance of the season|
|Barcelona can get the best out of Coutinho and Dembele, claims Valverde|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Werder Bremen 1: Alcacer and Reus guarantee top spot for mid-season break|
|Bristol City 2 Norwich City 2: Canaries knocked off their perch despite late equaliser|