Miralem Pjanic is reported to be too unfit to suit up for Serie A champions Juventus as they prepare to face Benevento on Sunday.
According to Italian publication Football Italia, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international won't be taking any part in the Old Lady's upcoming match due to him having suffered a bruised thigh during the 1-1 draw with Portuguese side Sporting CP in their Champions League match on Tuesday.
Juve, who have dominated the Italian leading tier for several years now, are in third place in the league table, chasing leaders Napoli and second-placed Inter, while Benevento have lost all all of their matches so far this season, recording 11 losses from 11 games and failing to register a single point on the board.
Pjanic, meanwhile, has scored three times and assisted five goals this term, and will be missed in Juve's midfield. But Benedikt Howedes, who joined the club on loan from Schalke 04 during the summer, could make his debut for the club, having stayed on the periphery since making the move as the result of a muscular issue.
The 29-year-old will be hoping to get his first run out this weekend, with Pjanic's absence leaving manager Max Allegri with the option of handing him a start. But there is also competition in the form of Claudio Marchisio.
"Marchisio could start the match, one thing is to see him in practice and another in a game, tomorrow will be a good test for him to see how long he can stay on the pitch, he’ll have a good match," Allegri told reporters ahead of the Benevento clash.
"The German [Howedes] could play a bit if there are the conditions, it’s difficult to see him from the beginning since I don’t want to make many changes.”
As for Pjanic, the manager reported that he will be assessed after the international break.
"He has a muscular issue," he added. We’ll evaluate him after the international break."