Atalanta could be without wing-back Hans Hateboer for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
The Dutchman has been out of action for La Dea since being taken off injured in their 3-0 win away to AC Milan in January due to an issue with his metatarsal.
Tutto Atalanta have reported on Wednesday that Hateboer requested the club’s permission to return to the Netherlands for a consultation with a trusted doctor. It’s thought that he has grown frustrated after three consultations with three different doctors have failed to find a solution to his problem.
Now, there are two possible courses of action for the 27-year-old. The first is for Hateboer to undergo surgery, though that would bring a premature end to his campaign and would likely rule him out of the summer’s European Championship as well.
The other possibility is that, if the bone heals itself, he would still need a significant time on the sidelines in order to get back to match-ready condition.
Hateboer’s condition is the reason that Bosko Sutalo was included in their Champions League squad, having been left out for the group stages. Sutalo has been included in the list at the expense of January signing Viktor Kovalenko.
Sutalo has deputised at right wing-back in La Dea’s recent games against Napoli and Cagliari, though Joakim Maehle is another option.