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Milan, Maignan returns with Salernitana on 4 January

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Milan, Maignan returns with Salernitana on 4 January

The Rossoneri goalkeeper returns to Milanello earlier than on 2 December: the goal is to be back in goal after the restart, on 4 January in Salerno

Mike Maignan has mastered the art of patience. A tough undertaking, even more than chasing away the ghost of Donnarumma and taking Milan in one fell swoop, because Mike is the man of miracles. He does a lot of things on the pitch, and for the fans to watch it has now become a magnificent routine, but MM16 isn’t joking either: a year ago he was able to halve his recovery times after a hand surgery and emerge between the posts of the Diavolo while everyone was still counting the days until their return. Maignan had succeeded also thanks to an uncommon determination, a desire to push that had allowed him to surpass the recovery programs drawn up by the Rossoneri medical staff. This time no, this time he tried — in mid-October, after his first stop at the end of September in the national team — but his left calf ended up knocked out again and Mike had to exercise all the patience in the world: the soleus injury that forced him to prolong the wait, he also tore up the ticket to Qatar that the French goalkeeper had deserved thanks to his super performance with Milan. In the meantime, however, Maignan hasn’t lost heart, on the contrary: while Tatarusanu and the others were fighting to earn the knockout stages of the Champions League and not lose ground against Napoli, he has been busy being there when the time comes to start over. Here, the mission is virtually accomplished: in Salerno, next January 4th, Milan will be back in the arms of their starting goalkeeper.

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The clues that Maignan has been spreading on social media since the beginning of November have exalted the fans: first a photo of Mike working in the Milanello gym, then some stories complete with karate flying kicks, finally a video that shows him in training with the Rossoneri staff. Work with the ball, saves, running: Maignan is back in training and the sentence that accompanied that video confirms the good sensations. “Brick by brick, I’m coming”. Here, he will arrive before the others, before work starts again in view of the recovery: now Maignan is on vacation (although there will be a work program to follow in order to continue the recovery), but the relaxation will not last long. In fact, the Frenchman has decided to shorten his holidays in order to return to Milanello a few days before December 2, the day set for the resumption of training. Once back at base, Maignan and the medical staff directed by Stefano Mazzoni will take stock of the situation, to understand how and when to put minutes back into the engine, before the big return on 4 January.


Optimism is natural, as the recovery is going smoothly. But acting with prudence will be just as logical: neither the doctors, nor Pioli, nor Mike himself intend to force. It is too important to recover the technical and charismatic leadership of the number 16: Maignan is fundamental between the posts (his interventions often bring points, as much as Giroud’s goals on the other side), but he is also the first constructor of the game (I expect this , which can offer a key to the more “massive” use of the three-man defense by Pioli).

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Before the restart, Milan will play three friendlies between the middle and the end of December: on the 13th and 16th against Arsenal and Liverpool in Dubai, on the 30th in Eindhoven, at PSV’s home. Will we see Maignan again in these tests? At the moment, the most realistic window is undoubtedly the Dutch one, even if Maignan will get on a plane to Dubai on the 10th with his companions: there is time to amaze once again and maybe put his gloves back on under the desert sun.

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