Weston McKennie is in the midst of a dream season at Juventus, exceeding all expectations since his arrival on loan from Schalke. What wasn’t known until Monday is that McKennie has been impressing despite battling through some previously-undisclosed physical ailments.
McKennie was one of the key players in the Bianconeri’s 3-0 Serie A victory over Crotone on Monday as he scored his fourth goal of the campaign. He has proven to be one of the most reliable players for the Serie A giants as they look to win their 10th consecutive Scudetto.
However, the Turin side’s pursuit of the title has come with some problems. One of them is a long list of injury issues to several players.
At a press conference prior to Monday’s game, Pirlo went through the names of each player currently experiencing various injuries. That included the 22-year-old McKennie, who is reportedly playing through a hip problem.
“Arthur is still feeling pain, the recovery time is not yet quantifiable and we’re evaluating him day after day. Paulo Dybala still hasn’t yet recovered. Weston McKennie also has some problems, but he’s gritting his teeth as we are short on numbers,” Pirlo told reporters.
Juventus is still in the race for the Serie A crown, but is facing a steep climb to the top in order to close the current eight-point deficit behind first-place Inter Milan.
McKennie has done his part, serving as a dynamic and versatile midfield weapon for Pirlo, with Monday’s goal giving the American midfielder four on the Serie A season, breaking Michael Bradley’s previous record for most goals in a Serie A season by a U.S. Men’s National Team player.
The revelation that McKennie has been battling through injuries should only serve to boost McKennie’s standing both with Juventus, and its fans, and increases the likelihood that Juventus will exercise its purchase option on McKennie’s loan when the current season comes to a close.
McKennie will look to be on the field again for Juventus on Saturday against Hellas Verona.