As the days tick by AC Milan get closer and closer to welcoming back their main centre-back options, with Malick Thiaw’s return now imminent.
MilanNews confirms that the recovery phase for Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu has entered the last step. It is good news for Pioli, because their absences created difficulties both numerically and in terms of the defensive record.
Having the three main defenders out has resulted in Theo Hernandez having to adapt as a central defender, plus experiments such as Tommaso Pobega being on the left in a three-man defence, and a debut for the 18-year-old Jan-Carlo Simic too.
If everything goes as expected, the first to return to training with the rest of the squad over the next week will be Thiaw, who was injured during the second half of the penultimate Champions League group stage game against Borussia Dortmund.
This does not mean that he will definitely be available for the tie against Rennes, but Pioli could name him on the bench. However, it is more likely that 10-15 days of effective work getting back to match fitness in training will be needed.
As for Tomori and Kalulu, they are hoping to be back by the end of the month as their return plans are being respected to the letter.
Both the Englishman (who went off against Salernitana at the Arechi) and the Frenchman (who was injured in Napoli-Milan at the end of October) are in the final stages of their programmes.