Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini expects to be back playing “between February and March” but urges fans to be patient with Maurizio Sarri.
The Italy international broke down with an ACL injury at the start of the season, and he gave an update on his recovery.
“I think I’ll be back on the pitch between February and March,” he told Tuttomercatoweb.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go. I’ve spent a few days abroad, but tomorrow I’ll return to continue my rehabilitation and it’s going very well. But you do need a lot of patience.
“They are doing very well without me, but I hope that I will be back during the spring, to help out by giving all that I’ve got, like they are doing.”
Max Allegri made way for the ex-Chelsea and Napoli boss over the summer, and Chiellini made it clear a period of transition was always going to be needed.
“After many years with Allegri it would have been different with any coach, but the results are going our way.
“You need to have patience, to understand the ideas of the coach, but in the meantime we need to pick up points and my teammates are doing that.”
Despite that, the 35-year-old backed Juve in their pursuit of the Champions League.
“We always believe and we have come very close. Let’s hope we arrive in a good way this spring because that’s what’s needed.”
Meanwhile, the stopper paid tribute to Roberto Mancini, whom he described as the “true architect” of Italy’s rebirth after their massive 9-1 victory over Armenia.
“It’s a fairly surprising result, but I congratulated the coach even after the great win against Bosnia.
“He changed the team’s trajectory in a very short time and understood the tricks needed to kickstart the group.
“He deserves so much credit because he is the true architect of this rebirth.”
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