AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Pato made his return to the squad at Barcelona on Tuesday night, with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani saying the club were hopeful they had found a “definitive solution” to the muscle problems that had caused the Brazilian to suffer 13 related injuries since January 2010.
However, after coming on as a second-half substitute, he had to be withdrawn after just 13 minutes of the 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou when he sustained yet another muscle problem.
Milan doctor Jean Pierre Meersseman has now said Pato will not play again in the current campaign as they again search for an answer to the problem. Meersseman told the Gazzetta dello Sport:
“His season is over. We’ll have to start again when he has healed.”
He added: “He’s been all over, from Germany to America, in a bid to resolve his fragile muscles. He’s been looked at and cured. I’ve even asked my spiritual therapist to pray for him.
“I didn’t sleep at all after the Barcelona game. I’ll take responsibility for the relapse, even if I don’t know what caused it. I didn’t solve something in three weeks which hasn’t been resolved in two years.
“Pato was declared fit on 13 occasions, but evidently he wasn’t healed. When I saw on the TV that he was injured I felt bad. I wasn’t expecting it to go like that.”
A statement from the club added:
“AC Milan announce Alexandre Pato today has undergone an MRI that has revealed a muscle lesion in his left thigh. Pato will undergo further medical tests in ten to 15 days’ time.”