Milan and Napoli Lose Star Defenders to Major Injuries

Milan and Napoli will not be able to lean on Simon Kjaer and Kalidou Koulibaly for the foreseeable future. The Danish center-back will undergo surgery Friday to repair some ligament damage in the left knee. Instead, the Senegalese international sustained a serious thigh strain.

Kjaer subbed off after a couple of minutes in Wednesday’s match against Genoa as his knee buckled on a tackle. Milan did not announce the exact nature of the problem. They will probably do so after the keyhole operation. The timetable for his return will differ depending on which ligament he tore. He would be done for the season if he ruptured his ACL.

Instead, Napoli disclosed that Koulibaly suffered a second-grade pull of the biceps femoris muscle. The defender will sit out four-to-five weeks, Sky Sport reports. The Partenopei will not have him until February as he is still expected to participate in the African Cup of Nations. He will miss the mid-December showdown with Milan.

The Azzurri received more positive news on their two other centerpieces that bowed out yesterday. Fabian Ruiz is suffering from tendinopathy in his right hip, while Lorenzo Insigne picked up a contracture of the soleus muscle in the left calf. The club has not ruled them out for Saturday’s match versus Atlanta, although they are highly in doubt. In any case, their problems are not long-term. Napoli are already dealing with the absences of Victor Osimhen and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa. The midfielder should not be too far off from coming back, though.