Chiellini refuses to point the finger
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says he will be out injured for another month, but believes that the recent difficulties endured by the side have nothing to do with his absence.
Chiellini, 28, has been missing since mid-December after injuring his calf, a period in which the Bianconeri have only managed to take a single point from two games, since the restart of Serie A following the winter break.
Blame for these struggles has been placed on those attempting to replace the Italy international - Federico Peluso and Martin Caceres - as the goals conceded against both Parma and Sampdoria came from the left-hand side of the defence, where the Chiellini normally features.
However, the player himself refuses to point the finger at those selected to deputise for him, while he also hopes to back in the side come February.
"An individual can't change the balance of a side," he said. "I have great faith in my team-mates. I'm counting on us getting back up on Saturday against Udinese. We've been unlucky in a few incidents and we've lost a few important points, but we did last year in this period too.
"My rehabilitation is going well and according to schedule, I hope to return as soon as possible, although I will still be out for another month or so."
Chiellini's comments echoed those of fellow defender Leonardo Bonucci, who recently insisted that Caceres and Peluso were not to blame.
"Giorgio is an essential part of the team, but those who have deputised for him are doing a good job," he said. "It's just bad luck. Parma did well to hit us on the break on one occasion, whereas against Sampdoria, it happened twice!"
Juventus also have injury concerns over Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal - with calf and ankle injuries respectively - after both sat out Thursday's training session.