Midfielder Manuel Locatelli is racing against time to be fit for Juventus in their Serie A clash with Inter Milan.

This according to today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews. The newspaper anticipate that if Locatelli is not fit, then Hans Nicolussi Caviglia will start the match.

Locatelli is currently dealing with a slight rib fracture.

The problem will be enough to rule the 25-year-old out of action for the Italian national team during the international break.

The Azzurri face key EURO 2024 qualifiers against North Macedonia and Ukraine over the next couple weeks. But Locatelli will play no part.

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti has sent the Juventus midfielder home to recover.

And now it will be something of a race against time for Locatelli to recover. In the first weekend back from the break, Juventus face Inter in a top-of-the-table league match.

Manuel Locatelli Racing Against Time To Be Fit For Juventus Vs Inter Clash

There are still a couple weeks to go before the Derby d’Italia match after the break.

But the timeline for Locatelli’s recovery means that it is doubtful whether or not the Italian international will be able to get back on the pitch in time for the match.

If Locatelli is to be absent, it would come as a major blow for Juventus.

The former Sassuolo and AC Milan man has been an absolutely vital component of the Bianconeri’s midfield.

Locatelli has anchored the midfield in a holding role. He has proven to have both the defensive qualities and physicality as well as the quality in possession to glue the team together.

And moreover, Juventus are looking quite light in midfield at the moment.

Bans to Nicolo Fagioli for gambling and Paul Pogba for doping have left Max Allegri with a bit of a threadbare complement of central options.

According to Tuttosport, though, even if Locatelli is out, Allegri will not change the system.

Rather, he will continue to go with the same 3-5-2 shape he has all season. But Nicolussi Caviglia will come into the team for his first start of the season.