AC Milan have released an official statement to confirm that Riccardo Montolivo will need five to six months to recover after knee surgery.
The 31-year-old suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in his left knee after a challenge with Sergio Ramos during Italy’s World Cup qualifier against Spain in Turin on Thursday night.
After spending several minutes on the pitch visibly in agony, the Milan captain was stretchered off and underwent further tests which revealed the extent of the damage.
As per an official statement on the club’s website, it has now been confirmed that surgery was performed and the surgeon is satisfied with the results, but it will take Montolivo up to six months to recover from the injury provided that he doesn’t suffer any further setbacks.
This isn’t the first time that the former Fiorentina star has suffered a serious injury, as he sustained a broken leg in a friendly just weeks before the World Cup in 2014 which forced him to miss the tournament and the start of the following Serie A campaign.
Although he has been an ever-present for Milan so far this season, he has come under scrutiny from supporters for his performances, but even his most ardent of critics will hope that he makes a swift and full recovery from the latest setback.
Montolivo’s absence could now give 18-year-old Manuel Locatelli more playing time, with the youngster scoring a stunning goal in Milan’s 4-3 win over Sassuolo last weekend and he is seen as a natural replacement in the team given his preferred role in a deeper midfield position.