Gianluigi Buffon has denied he was AWOL from a Juventus photo shoot. “I had to be in Switzerland for an award.”
Speculation over the goalkeeper's future and a potential January move to Manchester United intensified after he failed to attend the team's official photo session on Friday.
“I was not with the squad simply because I had to undergo a very important physiotherapy session for my recovery process,” insisted Buffon.
“Yesterday we tested out the efficiency of the leg after the operation and I had some very positive signs.
“In the evening I then had to be in Switzerland to pick up an award as best goalkeeper in the world. I had promised I'd be there, so I couldn't back out.”
It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to calm the speculation in the Italian and British media.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!