Juventus sweating on Cristiano Ronaldo fitness as Portugal superstar picks up ankle injury in Lazio draw
Juventus face a nervous wait as to the fitness of their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, after he was withdraw from his team's 1-1 draw with Lazio after suffering an ankle problem after earlier becoming Europe's top scorer of 2020.
The 35-year-old five time Ballon d'Or winner was hauled off by Juve boss Andrea Pirlo with 15 minutes remaining after appearing in visible discomfort as he appeared to twist his ankle.
Ronaldo motioned to Pirlo that he wanted to be withdrawn and was soon replaced by Paulo Dybala. Ronaldo was later shown in the stands with an heavy-duty icepack attached to his damaged joint.
At the time of the substitution Ronaldo looked to have done enough to secure the three points for the 'Old Lady' after he had given Juventus a 15th minute lead with a goal which moved him above Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski to become the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues in 2020.
The goal was Ronaldo's 27th of the calendar year.
However, it is unclear the extent to which Ronaldo and Juventus will celebrate this particular accolade given the ankle injury which could threaten to keep him from the pitch in upcoming games - and potentially put into doubt Ronaldo's long-awaited duel with Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the Champions League.
"Ronaldo is a key player not only for us but for all the teams he has played for," Juve boss Pirlo said after the game. "Unfortunately he had an ankle problem and was forced to leave the field."
Ronaldo's Covid-19 diagnosis ruled him out of Juventus' first game with Barcelona on October 28. The second Group G game is scheduled for December 8.
Ronaldo has been in sensational form since he returned to action from his coronavirus diagnosis after a period of self-isolation. He scored a brace in his Juventus' 4-1 Serie A win against Spezia, a Champions League assist against Ferencvaros in addition to Sunday's strike against Lazio.
Juventus, though, will be hoping that his worrying ankle issue won't keep him from adding to his sensational goalscoring tally this year.