Juventus have confirmed that their captain, Giorgio Chiellini, could be out for several months after he ruptured a cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Chiellini suffered the injury in training on Friday, and according to the club, he would undergo surgery “in the coming days”.
Reports say the 35-year-old’s entire 2019-20 season could be in doubt.
The Serie A champions said on their website: “During today’s training, Giorgio Chiellini, sustained a sprain of his right knee.
“The diagnostic tests performed at JIMedical showed a lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament.
“It will be necessary to have surgery in the coming days.”
His teammates have gone to social media to wish him quick recovery.
Chiellini’s absence will be a major blow for the club, as they look to win their ninth straight title in the 2019/20, as well as first Champions League title since 1995/96.
He scored Juventus’ only goal away to Parma last week, helping the Old Lady begin their title defence on a winning note.
The Italy international has formed a formidable partnership with Leonardo Bonucci in the Bianconeri’s centre-back.
The duo’s partnership has limited the playing time of young defender, Matthijs de Ligt, who joined the club from Ajax this summer.
The Dutch teenager expressed surprise over being left on the bench for 90 minutes in last week’s match at Parma.
But it is now likely that the 20-year-old would get to play many games, following Chiellini’s i’jury.
Juventus face Napoli in the clash of the Titans in the league at the Allianz Stadium later on Saturday.