Milan came away with three points in Empoli but also lost three regulars due to fairly major injuries. Alexis Saelemaekers suffered the most serious one. He has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain in the left knee and will be out for six-to-eight weeks. Therefore, he might not return in 2023, La Gazzetta dello Sport informs.
Instead, Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer sustained biceps femoris strains. The fullback endured a more severe one as the tendon was damaged too. He’ll be out for at least a month. He too faces the risk of sitting out all the remaining matches of 2022. The center-back will be sidelined for two-to-three weeks.
Junior Messias, who routinely alternates with Saelemaekers on the right flank, was unavailable Saturday due to a calf problem. It’s minor, but it might keep in on the mend for the upcoming Chelsea clash. Amid a host of injuries, Milan coach Stefano Pioli adapted Rade Krunic to the right flank. He might have to devise further new solutions while they cope with the emergency.
Sergino Dest will get more opportunities as right-back, while Matteo Gabbia and Malick Thiaw will be the options for the middle of the defense when the coach prefers using Pierre Kalulu there. The Barcelona loanee is also a candidate for a more offensive flank role.
Despite the recent big blows, Milan received positive news as far as injuries are concerned too. Ante Rebic returned and scored versus Empoli, and he can be deployed in multiple attacking positions. Divock Origi resumed practicing and will be back soon. Theo Hernandez is improving quickly following a thigh issue and could return later this week.