ROME (Reuters) – AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the club’s latest player to be ruled out with injury, Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday, as the Rossoneri look to end a recent winless run against Empoli before the winter break.
The Rossoneri have lost important figures like Simon Kjaer, Ante Rebic, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao and Davide Calabria to injury in recent weeks, and the absences have coincided with a dip in form.
“Ibra won’t be there tomorrow because of an overload on his knee,” Pioli told a news conference.
Milan have picked up one point from their last three games in all competitions.
A 1-0 defeat to Napoli on Sunday saw them drop to third place in Serie A, four points behind leaders Inter Milan, ahead of their trip to Empoli on Wednesday.
“The number of muscular injuries in November was too high and in the long run you can pay for that. We are overcoming the problem and will get past it after the winter break,” Pioli said.
Milan began the season in flying form, going unbeaten for the first 12 games, but they have since picked up two wins in their last seven Serie A matches.
They face a tricky task against ninth-placed Empoli, who have been one of the surprises of the season since their promotion from Serie B and are unbeaten in five league games.
“When the results aren’t coming, it’s right to be less calm, but even more determined,” Pioli said.
“We want to get back on track after losing at home.
“Milan played a good game against Napoli. But we are committing some errors that you can’t afford if you want to get a result, so we clearly need to do more. We need more quality.”
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)