AC Milan cannot afford to slip up if it want to keep challenging Napoli for the title. Stefano Pioli’s second-placed side trail the leader by eight points and face mid-table Salernitana, which has won only one of six Serie A meetings against Milan.
Milan will be without defender Fode Ballo-Toure who is out for a month with an shoulder injury.
“The estimated time to return to full training is four weeks,” Milan said in a short statement after his operation in the northern Italian city.
Ballo-Toure, who turns 26 on Tuesday and has 15 caps for his country, dislocated his right shoulder during Milan’s 3-0 friendly defeat at PSV Eindhoven.
“We are still in the running in four competitions,” AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s league clash at Salernitana.
“If we want to consider ourselves a winning team, we have to try to win something again this year. Last season we made AC Milan history by winning (the Serie A). We are still hungry and now we want to cement our place in history.”
Pioli added that France internationals Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez, both of whom played in the World Cup final defeat to Argentina, had returned to training.
“We found them happy to be back, they have got over the disappointment of how the World Cup ended and are now charged up and motivated for the restart in the league,” Pioli said.
“I’ve congratulated them on their time with the national team, they are both available for the game.
Pioli added that Ciprian Tatarusanu would play in goal against Salernitana, in place of the injured Mike Maignan, who suffered a calf injury in October.
“We can’t force Maignan’s recovery, it certainly won’t happen soon. He’s on his way, but the assessments tell us that it’s not possible to push it yet,” Pioli said.
Three points against Salernitana could help Milan make up some ground in the Serie A title race, given its rivals -- Napoli in first and Inter Milan in fifth -- face each other on Wednesday.
(with inputs from AP, Reuters)