Ricardo Rodriguez Addresses AC Milan Injury Crisis Ahead of Juventus Showdown

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

SEVILLA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 8: Mateo Musacchio of AC Milan during the UEFA Europa League   match between Real Betis Sevilla v AC Milan at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on November 8, 2018 in Sevilla Spain (Photo by David S Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

AC Milan have been plunged into an injury crisis ahead of Sunday's Serie A showdown with Juventus, and full-back Ricardo Rodriguez has acknowledged the latest setbacks have "hurt" the squad.

The Rossoneri announced Lucas Biglia is set to miss four months on Thursday, per Football Italia. Hours later they lost Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu and Mateo Musacchio to injuries in the 1-1 draw against Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League, per ESPN FC's Matteo Bonetti:

Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy

Make that Kessie, Calhanoglu and Musacchio injured here today against Betis. Game against Juventus is in three days.

Musacchio's injury, in particular, looked bad, as the defender left the pitch on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace after a collision with Kessie.

Rodriguez explained what an impact that had on the squad in an interview with Sky Italia (h/t Football Italia): "Clearly, we were all scared. He is an important player, it hurts to see him like this, especially as we already had so many injuries. He's strong, he'll recover quickly."

Per the report, Mattia Caldara, Jack Bonaventura, Davide Calabria and Gonzalo Higuain are all injured as well.

Musacchio's injury was a scary one, as explained by sportswriter Siavoush Fallahi:

Siavoush Fallahi @SiavoushF

This musacchio thing is one of the scariest things I’ve seen, man’s fainted for a knock to the back from Kessie (?)

The wave of injuries comes at a particularly bad time for Milan, who had won three straight matches in Serie A since the shock defeat at home to Betis. The draw on the road leaves the Rossoneri in second place in Group F, tied with Olympiacos and one point behind the Spaniards.

Milan face must-win contests against Dudelange and the Greeks to advance to the knockout stages, but before it gets to that they'll face Juventus and Lazio Roma domestically.

Juventus, in particular, will be a difficult challenge. The Bianconeri had won all of their matches bar one before Wednesday's shock UEFA Champions League defeat against Manchester United, and they'll be out to make a statement at the San Siro.

Manager Gennaro Gattuso said he's not going to use the many absences as an excuse:

footballitalia @footballitalia

Gennaro Gattuso: "There’s no point thinking about it, we’ll play who we’ve got and will wage battle, as looking for alibis will get us nowhere" https://t.co/SDYog0xPTN #ACMilan #MilanJuve #MilanJuventus #UEL #SerieA #BetisMilan https://t.co/DSI16QJLI5

Milan sit in fourth place in Serie A, 10 points behind leaders Juventus. The Rossoneri have lost their five last confrontations with the Bianconeri, last winning in the Supercoppa Italiana in 2016 after penalties.