Cristiano Ronaldo to return to training today as Serie A start date is pushed back
- Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will be permitted to resume training from today
- The news is a boost for Juve fans, as Cristiano Ronaldo is a key man in their hunt to retain the Scudetto this term
Confirmation from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) means Italy's top-flight will have to wait longer than first hoped. Clubs selected Saturday, June 13 as their target return date but are expected to wait at least another week before the 2019-20 season can resume.
The country's prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed off a decree on Sunday which banned "any event and sporting competition of any order and discipline" until June 14.
Meanwhile, the government's scientific committee continue to discuss when exactly group training sessions can resume ahead of a potential restart to matches sometime next month.
Cristiano Ronaldo has finished his mandatory 14-day quarantine, having flown into Turin from his home in Madeira earlier this month. He is expected to join individual sessions today at the club's Continassa training base.
He departed for his homeland immediately after their 2-0 win over Inter Milan on March 8, which was their final competitive fixture before the suspension of play.
The league was officially postponed indefinitely the following day, March 9, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with eight top-flight sides having played a game fewer (25 of the scheduled 38).
He spent two months isolated with his family in Madeira before flying back, where he continued to train on his own in a home gym.
News of Cristiano Ronaldo's return to training will boost fans' spirits though, seeing as the Portuguese star plays such an important role in Juventus' success.
Cristiano Ronaldo keen to finish the campaign
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 21 goals and created three assists in 22 league games so far this term, so will be itching to regain his match sharpness quickly as he aims to help Juve retain the Scudetto.
It's not been plain sailing for Cristiano Ronaldo and co, as Simone Inzaghi's Lazio are giving them a real run for their money in the title race - unbeaten in the league since late September.
In contrast, Juventus have suffered inconsistent form across all competitions this season, despite their abundance in quality.
If they are to achieve their targets during a heavily disrupted season, it's clear they need top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo on top form.
Besides him, Argentine forward Paulo Dybala and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, head coach Maurizio Sarri has struggled to rely on many dependable performers during a frustrating first season of management with Italy's defending champions.
They were 1-0 down on aggregate against Ligue 1 side Lyon in their UCL last-16 clash and scheduled to play the return leg behind closed doors in Turin before the suspension.
Italy remains the second-worst affected European country for coronavirus-related deaths (32,007), behind just the UK at the time of writing. However, things are steadily improving across the nation: 451 new cases and 99 deaths today (stats correct to 8.20pm GMT).