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Pirlo praises ‘rock’ McKennie for playing through pain for Juventus

Weston McKennie - Juventus
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The USMNT star has been a reliable option for the Serie A champions during their ongoing injury crisis in the middle of the park.

Weston McKennnie has not been playing on his full fitness levels as the player is carrying a “hip problem”, Andrea Pirlo has revealed.

Juventus are missing a number of their players through various injuries ahead of the Serie A outing against Crotone on Monday night.

Paulo Dybala is the most notable absentee, with the Argentine on the sidelines since January 10 with a knee problem.

Arthur is also unfit while and so is Aaron Ramsey while Adrien Rabiot is on a suspension, leaving the Bianconeri severely short of options in the middle of the park.

Weston McKennie has established himself as a key player for the Italian side during their untimely injury crisis. Having joined the club on loan from Schalke at the start of the season, he has played over seven thousand minutes across all competitions so far.

“McKennie is also not 100% fit, he has a hip problem, but he is a rock and he grits his teeth because we haven’t got many players available,” Pirlo told in his pre-match press conference, via Goal.

The Juventus boss added, offering more fitness updates: “Dybala is not available yet. He still feels pain in his knee, unfortunately he is not improving. He still has problems, so we have to wait a little bit more.

“Ramsey is available and it’s good news.

“We miss Arthur, he is the only midfielder with different characteristics, but we have many options to replace him: Ramsey, Bentancur, and Fagioli.

“They can adapt to our system, but they don’t have the same characteristics of Arthur. We’ll try to find the best solution.

“Arthur must be assessed day by day. He feels pain and for now he can’t play, there isn’t a recovery time settled, he can’t play until he feels no pain.”