There are now strong doubts that Rafael Leao will even make the Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund despite initial optimism regarding his return, a report claims.
According to Tuttosport (via MilanNews), the muscle injury that he sustained before the break during the 2-2 draw with Lecce will certainly keep Leao out of the match against Fiorentina on Saturday but in all likelihood he will also miss Borussia Dormund too.
The match will be crucial and will decide the fate of the Rossoneri in Europe this season, so facing it without their difference-maker would be far from ideal. However, the Portuguese suffered a first-degree injury to the hamstring of his right thigh which means rushing him back is not an option.
He could return for the game against Frosinone a few days later, although the most plausible hypothesis is to see him back training with the rest of the squad during the week before the match against Atalanta, scheduled for the December 9.
In essence, the medical staff don’t want to take any risks because Leao is the best player in the squad and the risk of a relapse which would mean losing him for even longer could be potentially destructive.
With Leao out, the responsibility will fall on Christian Pulisic who has four goals this season and has been decisive on numerous occasions. The ones who will really have to step up will be both Noah Okafor – who could be Rafa’s natural replacement – and Samuel Chukwueze if it is decided to move Pulisic to the left.
Both have still left little mark on the matches, especially the Nigerian who – when he wasn’t injured – didn’t offer much in terms of performances. On Saturday, against Fiorentina, the suspended Olivier Giroud will also have to be replaced, which is why Luka Jovic must also finally step up.