AC Milan defender and Denmark national team captain will miss the rest of the 2021/22 season after undergoing surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.
The 32-year-old Dane, who finished 18th in the recent Ballon d’Or rankings, was injured after four minutes in AC Milan’s Serie A game against Genoa and had to go under the knife in order to make a full recovery.
Kjaer’s surgery happened on Wednesday, after which Milan reported the disappointing news of the centre-back’s season coming to a premature end on their official club website.
The statement on the AC Milan club website reads: “AC Milan announces that today Simon Kjaer underwent arthroscopy of the left knee for the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and the re-insertion of the medial collateral ligament.”
“The operation, carried out at the La Madonnina Clinic, was perfectly successful and was performed by Dr. Roberto Pozzoni, with the contribution of the Galeazzi CTS (Sports Traumatology Centre) team in the presence of the club’s health manager, Stefano Mazzoni.
“Kjaer is well and is motivated to start the rehabilitation process immediately. Recovery time is estimated at six months.”
Kjaer’s absence for the rest of the season comes as a big blow to Milan who stand a chance of reclaiming the Scudetto after a decade this season.
The Rossoneri are just one point in second place behind Napoli at the top of the Serie A table, and Kjaer has been a key reason for their current form.
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli admits to the squad being dismayed at the news of Kjaer’s season being over. Speaking at the press conference ahead of the Salernitana game, Pioli: “We experienced it with great dismay, we know the qualities of the player and the depth of the person.
“His presence in the team is very important for his charisma, personality and knowing how to say things at the right time. We are right behind Simon, worried for his situation but aware and sure that everyone will be fine and he’ll overcome these difficulties because he’s a very strong player and man.”
AC Milan already looking at a replacement for Kjaer
Youngster Matteo Gabbia is the only other centre-back in the squad outside Fikayo Tomori and club captain Alessandro Romagnoli, meaning Milan may have to find short-term reinforcements in January.
The Rossoneri have identified AS Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile as this replacement. The club’s management is already on the move working to bring in Badiashile from Monaco, according to reports.
The 20-year-old French centre back is more experienced than his age suggests, with over 100 official games for Monaco with performances that have attracted the attention of many clubs.
However, Monaco are not willing to part ways with their gem in January unless an offer of 30 million euros arrives.