AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu will be out for around 10 days, Sky Sport has reported.
The midfielder came out of Milan’s training session yesterday in crutches, which sparked instant doubts over whether the Turkish international would be out for the long-term or not.
However, Sky Sport believes that he’ll miss Thursday’s game with Celtic and is likely to sit out Monday night’s clash against Roma too. It’s also likely that he’ll have to watch on when Milan travel to Sparta Prague in matchday two of the Europa League.
Yet the timeframe also effectively confirms that there is no doubting his availability for Celtic’s return trip to Milan. Neil Lennon’s men travel to Italy on December 3rd in matchday five. Yet despite the fact Calhanoglu left Milan’s base on crutches, his recovery looks like being relatively swift.
Former Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz looks like being Calhanoglu’s direct replacement tomorrow. He’s currently on loan from Real Madrid.
Not as bad an injury as first feared
When you see any player on crutches, especially after a training session, your first thought is that he’s out for the long-term.
However it’s clear now that Milan had him in them as a precaution, and not as a sign of how bad Calhanoglu’s ankle injury actually is. Regardless, him missing Thursday is a massive blow for them.
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Celtic’s return game in Italy is only six weeks away. Had Calhanoglu’s injury been aggravated any further, then it could very well have been the case that he missed just about the entire group stage campaign.
Having him back when the group starts to seriously take shape can be taken as comfort for Milan. For Celtic, it’ll add even further danger to the away game given how lethal the Turk has been at his home ground this season.
Indeed, Calhanoglu has bagged two goals and two assists in just three games at the San Siro this ter,. Not that his away form is much worse mind you – he has two goals and one assist in four of them.
Diaz is slightly different, having only managed one direct goal contribution in his five appearances this season. He’s certainly the lesser of the two, but will still pose a threat with his quick feet and eye for a pass. But when the return game at the San Siro comes around, Calhanoglu should be well back into his groove.