Portuguese internationals João Cancelo and Gonçalo Guedes are out of action until next year after both picked up injuries that required surgery this week at Juventus and Valencia respectively.

Meanwhile, Seleção midfielder Rony Lopes' long wait for a return to action with French Ligue 1 club Monaco continues, after already missing a third of his team’s season with a thigh injury.



For Juventus right-back João Cancelo, surgery was required this week after the 24-year-old tore his meniscus. The Italian club confirmed on Friday that the operation was successful, with Cancelo expected to be out for around six weeks.

“Today, João Cancelo has undergone a medial selective meniscectomy on his right knee,” read a statement on the club’s website.

“The operation, performed by Professor Roberto Rossi, a consultant for Juventus and J-Medical, in the presence of Juventus health manager Dr. Claudio Rigo at the Clinica Sedes Sapientiae was fully successful.

“From tomorrow Cancelo will start rehabilitative care.”

The injury is a frustrating setback for the defender who is quickly becoming regarded as one of the finest right-backs in Europe. Cancelo joined Juve from Valencia for €40m in the summer and has impressed in Turin. Indeed, Cancelo provided the assist for the winning goal in Juve’s most recent Serie A victory over Inter last weekend, while coach Maximiliano Allegri recently praised the improvements in the Portuguese’s defending since arriving in Italy.

Guedes out for two months

Another Seleção international facing a spell out of action is former Benfica forward Gonçalo Guedes, who has also undergone an operation at Spanish club Valencia. Guedes has been carrying an abdominal injury since the start of the season, and now is the moment the club have decided he should go under the knife.

Guedes, who has started eleven matches for Los Ches this season but is yet to find the net, is due back at the club to begin a rehabilitation process and is not expected back for two months. Provided there are no setbacks in his recovery, the 22-year-old will hope to be returning to action towards the end of February.

Lopes still waits

Rony Lopes signed a new contract with French outfit Monaco earlier this month, but the Portugal midfield is still waiting to make his much-anticipated return from injury. Lopes extended his stay with the Monegasque club until 2022 two weeks ago, saying at the time: “I am working quickly to get back on the pitch and help my team-mates,” having been out of action since early September.

Lopes suffered a relapse during his recovery last month which ended hopes of returning after the most recent international break, but the 22-year-old was hoping to be nearing selection by now. However, Lopes is not in Monaco’s squad for this weekend’s clash with Lyon and is still undertaking an individual training routine.

By Sean Gillen

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“Starting the season how we started it is gratifying.”

Bruno Lage
(Benfica coach after thumping victory over Sporting in the Super Cup)