Serie A

AC Milan’s Pato Out For A Month

AC Milan’s striker Alexandre Pato was ruled out for a month with a thigh injury on Thursday, adding to a worrying injury list for the Italian champions. The 22-year-old, who scored after 24 seconds of Milan’s recent draw with Barcelona in the Champions League, suffered the injury against Udinese on Wednesday.

“Tests undertaken have revealed a muscle contraction in the player’s right thigh. The recovery period is estimated at four weeks if there are no complications,” a club statement said on Thursday.

Milan, who face Cesena on Saturday and Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday, are facing an huge injury crisis with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Philippe Mexes and Luca Antonini all out.

“We have to work out why this boy (Pato) is now suffering from muscle strains when in 2008 and 2009 he had no problems,” Milan general manager Adriano Galliani told reporters. “It’s not about being lucky or unlucky. We have 10 to 12 players out so it’s difficult for us now. When we get our players back, we will start winning matches.”

The challenge for Milan in the immediate future is that against Cesena and Plzen, Milan will have only one true forward, Antonio Cassano. Expect Milan to play youngster Stephen El Sharaawy or veteran Filippo Inzaghi alongside Cassano this weekend.