AC Milan’s 3-1 win over Napoli on Sunday was soured by a potential injury to leading marksman Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With 78 minutes of the Serie A encounter gone, the 39-year-old Swede went down clutching his left leg and had to be replaced.
His club will now have to evaluate the severity of what appears to be a muscular problem.
Speaking after the game Daniele Bonera – who was filling in for Stefano Pioli, who has Covid-19 – expressed his hope that the injury wouldn’t be a severe one.
“We don’t have much information right now, it looks like a muscular problem, but we have to wait a few days to see the extent of it,” Bonera told Sky Sport Italia.
The timing of the injury could scarcely be any worse as the Rossoneri’s fixture schedule prior to Christmas is packed. Indeed, they have nine fixtures to play in around a month and are already without Portugal international forward Rafael Leao because of a physical complaint.
They are due to travel to Lille in Europa League action on Thursday and will seek to avenge a thumping 3-0 loss to the Ligue 1 side at San Siro.
Thereafter, they will host struggling Fiorentina in the league, while before Christmas they will also have to face the likes of Lazio and second-placed Sassuolo, though the latter of those fixtures does not take place until December 20.
As such, Milan must now cross their fingers and hope the issue does not prove to be anything serious for Ibrahimovic, who has scored 10 goals in just six league outings this season and has already missed four games due to Covid-19.
On Sunday, he was a chief protagonist as Milan earned three points at Napoli that kept them at the summit of the Serie A table.
He had opened the scoring midway through the first half and added a second shortly after the break to propel Stefano Pioli’s side towards the win.
Jens Petter Hauge would later add the third in stoppage time against an opponent down to 10 men.
Milan will have to assess the extent of Ibrahimovic’s injury, but it was a sad way for the Swede to leave what had been a historic match for him.
By finding the back of the net, he became just the fourth player in the modern era of Serie A to have scored in the first six league matches he had played of a season. He joined the likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Christian Vieri in doing so.