Bennacer blow for Rossoneri

Bennacer blow for Rossoneri
Inter's defender Matteo Darmian in action against AC Milan's midfielder Ismael Bennacer during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg soccer match between AC Milan and FC Inter, in Milan, Italy, 10 May 2023. EPA/ROBERTO BREGANI

by Staff Reporter

Saturday May 13, 2023. 11:17

Ismail Bennacer will not play again this season after AC Milan announced that the midfielder is set to undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained against Inter Milan on Wednesday.

The Algeria international has played a vital role in the Rossoneri’s run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and scored the winner against Serie A rivals Napoli in the quarter-final, first leg on April 12.

Bennacer started the first-leg tie against the Nerazzurri in midweek but lasted just 17 minutes before being forced off through injury, with Milan already 2-0 down after Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck inside the opening 11 minutes.

The Italian champions’ worst fears were confirmed when subsequent scans revealed the extent of the damage to the cartilage in his right knee, which requires surgery to repair and has ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli admitted the news came as a big blow in an important part of their season but has backed the 25-year-old to come back stronger.

“With all our heart and affection, be it for the stage of the season we’re at and the seriousness of the injury, this setback was unfortunate,” Pioli told Milan TV.

“But Isma is a strong character and is tough mentally so I’m sure he will come back even stronger.”

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