GdS: ‘An endless massacre’ – Chukwueze’s issue sees Milan’s injury woes resurface

By Oliver Fisher -

Samuel Chukwueze suffering a thigh problem has gone under the radar because the season is nearing its conclusion, but it continues a very worrying trend at AC Milan.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport writes, with second place locked up already and nothing more to fight for no injury is going to derail the season for Milan, yet Chukwueze’s latest issues is one that deserves to be mentioned.

It must be said that in 2024 – the calendar year – the situation has improved. The average of players unavailable per match has not been as high as it was towards the end of last year and Stefano Pioli has been able to rotate more, even if the verdict from the field was still negative.

Having a more empty treatment room in the new year does not erase the ridiculous numbers of the first part of the season, which was described as ‘an endless massacre’ that reduced the squad to the bare bones just when it was necessary to push hard.

It is incontrovertible how the Rossoneri have lost points and important matches due to numerous absences. This applies both directly (if two big names from the squad are missing, it becomes more complicated to win) and indirectly (if the same players always play, performance drops and the risk of injury for everyone else increases too).

This problem evidently also caught the attention of the owners. If Pioli has reached the end of his experience at Milan, it was the repeated physical problems that played a (very) important part in the club’s reflections.

It is an aspect was made public by Gerry Cardinale at the end of February at the Financial Times forum: “We will look at the staff, we have had a lot of injuries. We are disappointed. If we do all this work and then when it comes time to play we don’t have all these players available, what’s the point of all that effort?”

Despite the improvement of the last few months, the numbers for the season remain merciless. Chukwueze’s is the 45th injury overall, the 32nd of muscular nature, and there have been 24 different players involved.

When Milan fans try to ask themselves where the team could have reached without such extreme numbers, the question inevitably leaves room for despair.

Tags AC Milan Samuel Chukwueze

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  1. Chukwueze injury record prior to joining us according to Transfermarkt:

    20/21: groin – 31 days
    20/21: hamstring – 161 days
    21/22: muscle – 377 days
    23/24 (earlier in the season): hamstring 21 days

    Apparently he was “ill” for about a year in 18/19 but I didn’t include that and I couldn’t find any articles online about it 🤷‍♂️.
    Speaking of flying under the radar, RLC has been ‘quietly’ injured recently

  2. Both Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek set personal records for minutes played this season. Considering the injury history of these two that’s remarkable considering the number of muscle injuries elsewhere in the squad. Hard to make much sense of it.

    1. This is an excellent point. What’s strange with this year’s injuries is how uneven the injury spread was. Midfielders and forwards were relatively healthy, while defense was decimated. RLC and Pulisic are great examples of this.

      How many games did Leao and Pulisic miss due to injury this year? Just a handful.

      1. @TonyK @js: excellent points.
        For Pulisic and RLC perhaps the “lower” pace and athleticism of serie A compared to the Premier League did help them manage their injuries. And for RLC especially, since he is playing as a CAM/SS rather than a CM, he is covering overall less ground and thus less accumulative fatigue but what I know.
        As for our defenders, I think Osti+ our tactics which involve pressing high and covering a lot of ground were detrimental to them.
        It should be noted that Leao was injured the game after the PSG one where he covered a lot of ground and did a lot of defensive duties.

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