Juventus reveal Matthijs de Ligt’s surgery on injured shoulder was successful in boost to new boss Andrea Pirlo… but defender now faces three months on the sidelines
- Matthijs de Ligt has had successful surgery on a longstanding shoulder problem
- Club medical staff accompanied the Holland defender to the operation in Rome
- The Serie A champions are expecting the 21-year-old to be out for three months
- He apologised after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League on Friday
Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt will be out for three months after having successful surgery on a recurring shoulder injury.
Holland international De Ligt spent part of his 21st birthday on Tuesday at a clinic in Rome, where a surgeon and two doctors operated on the problem that had troubled the centre-back since he suffered a dislocation in November.
The Serie A champions announced that club medical boss Luca Stefanini had overseen the visit, which they called a ‘complete success’.
Matthijs de Ligt (right) has often been left grimacing since a shoulder dislocation in November
The move to stabilise De Ligt’s right shoulder was confirmed after the club’s Champions League round of 16 exit to Lyon ended their season on Friday.
De Ligt started 26 of Juve’s Serie A matches after making a £67.8m move from Ajax last summer, often being in visible pain because of his painful shoulder.
His absence was felt as Juventus lost 4-2 to AC Milan when he was suspended last month and suffered further limp defeats to Cagliari and Roma when he was rested for the final two matches of the season.
The 21-year-old Ajax and Holland prodigy was signed by Juve for a hefty £67.8m last summer
New boss Andrea Pirlo expects to be without De Ligt for three months, compounding his existing defensive concerns as he plans for the start of the new season next month.
Club captain and defender Giorgio Chiellini has missed most of this season with a ruptured cruciate ligament, calf problem and resulting fitness issues, and centre-back Merih Demiral has not started a match since January after suffering similar injury woes.
Speaking after Juve crashed out of Europe, De Ligt called his team-mates ‘exceptional’ and praised the club’s ‘extraordinary fans’.
He added: ‘I’m sorry that we were not able to reach our goal in Champions League. We now have a renewed belief, hunger and determination to do even more next year.’
De Ligt could not stop Memphis Depay and Lyon from ending Juve’s Champions League hopes