February 21, 2024

AC Milan’s goalkeeper blues continued on Thursday as the Serie A leaders said Marco Sportiello had suffered a calf injury which rules him out of this weekend’s clash with Juventus.

In a statement Milan, who will also be without the suspended Mike Maignan for Sunday’s night’s fixture, said second-choice goalkeeper Sportiello’s left calf would be re-examined in 10 days.

Italian media report that Sportiello, 31, could be out until after the next international break in mid-November.

The duo’s absence means that 40-year-old Antonio Mirante will start his first Serie A match since April 2021 when he was a Roma player.

French international ‘keeper Maignan is suspended for being sent off in the seventh minute of added time in Milan’s 1-0 win at Genoa before the most recent international break.

Maignan’s France teammate Theo Hernandez will also miss the Juve match after his fifth booking of the season at Genoa triggered a one-match suspension.

Milan head into Sunday’s match at the San Siro two points ahead of their local rivals Inter Milan, and four in front of third-placed Juve.

Roma’s injury woes ease as Llorente returns.

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho is hopeful that most of his players will soon be fit with Diego Llorente back and several others returning to training.

Last season’s Europa League runners-up have struggled for form at the start of the campaign and are in 10th place in the standings with 11 points from their first eight matches but have won their last two.

“(Renato) Sanches and (Lorenzo) Pellegrini are still out, but seeing (Marash) Kumbulla and (Tammy) Abraham back on the training ground makes me happy,” Mourinho said at a press conference on Saturday.

Mourinho confirmed that defender Llorente would be available for their Serie A clash against Monza at home on Sunday.

“I hope and hope that next week Sanches will also be able to return to work in the group,” Mourinho said, adding that Chris Smalling had also returned to group training but would not be available to play.

Paulo Dybala is still sidelined after suffering a knee injury in the 4-1 win at Cagliari earlier this month, and Mourinho was keeping his cards close to his chest about who would partner Romelu Lukaku up front.

“I don’t want to say who will start tomorrow. Paulo (Dybala) is an important player for his creativity and positioning, but we have a good group of forwards available,” he said.

“We scored plenty of nice goals this season, we improved in terms of construction.

“When we are at full strength we play even better than last year. For me, beauty remains the result, the points – that’s what matters.”

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