Balotelli injury doubt for Milan-Juve
ESPN FC: Turning on the switch
Mario Balotelli is a doubt for AC Milan's Serie A clash with league leaders Juventus on March 2 after bruising his right shoulder during Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.
• Paul: Hope remains for Milan
The Italy international left the field clutching his shoulder and tests carried out on Thursday confirmed the extent of the injury which should usually necessitate a rest of 10 days before returning to full team training.
That makes an appearance against Juve touch-and-go and rules him out of the Rossoneri's Serie A clash with Sampdoria this weekend. His recovery could be sooner, though, according to Dr Alessandro Castagna, who carried out the tests and explained the results on the Serie A club's website.
In a tweet published before the results were announced, Balotelli expressed his concern that the injury could prove to be more serious.
Hope everything is gonna be ok with my shoulder! Spero che andrà tutto bene con la mia spalla! ��— Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) February 20, 2014
Mattia De Sciglio, who also had to leave the field due to injury on Wednesday, has been diagnosed with severe bruising to his ankle, although further tests are to be conducted before forecasting the length of recovery.
However, he has also been ruled out of Sunday's clash with the Blucerchiati, where Milan will look to put their Champions League disappointment behind them and get back to winning ways in the league.
The Rossoneri are seven points adrift of fifth-placed Inter Milan and the final qualifying berth for European football next season, although with Fiorentina and Napoli contesting the Coppa Italia final in May, and with both looking likely to finish inside the top five, sixth place should also be enough for a place in the Europa League next season.
Milan remain four points adrift of that position, currently shared by Parma, Torino and Hellas Verona.