Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo makes Cristiano Ronaldo decision after Covid return

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has hinted that Cristiano Ronaldo is not poised to start this weekend after recovering from coronavirus.

The Portuguese star tested positive for Covid-19 and had suffered for19 days.

But a negative test means Ronaldo can now return to the fold for Juventus ' game against Spezia on Sunday.

The 35-year-old has not played for the Italian champions since September though and Pirlo is ready to utilise him from the bench.

"He arrived negative on the second swab and this morning he trained individually," Pirlo told reporters. 

"He will be with the team. I don't believe he will play from the beginning. The important thing is having him. He trained at home, it's very important that we take him with us."

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Ronaldo has scored three times in his two appearances so far this season and his return is timely for the Bianconeri who lost in midweek to Barcelona.

It was Pirlo's first reverse as a manager with Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi both getting on the scoresheet for the Spanish side.

The Italian manager has opted to use Paulo Dybala sparingly during his tenure which has only added to speculation around his exit.

Discussions are ongoing over an extension for the Argentine but Pirlo has denied that his lack of minutes are related to the contract negotiations.

"It's only a physical question," he added. "I always said he wasn’t at 100 per cent.

"The first time you come back you do well, the second game is more exhausting. He just needs time to train and recover his full fitness.

"He has to find his rhythm, to not think about the voices around his renewal but only to do well."

Dybala has played in one of Juventus' opening five Serie A games.

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