Italy and AC Milan forward Antonio
Cassano will be out for "a few months" and needs heart surgery
after falling ill at the weekend, the Italian champions said on
"The player will undergo a small surgical cardiological
intervention in the coming days and the recovery time will be
better defined after the surgery, but it will probably be a few
months," Milan said in a statement said.
The problem caused insufficient blood flow to the brain,
causing "ischemic cerebral damage" but no lasting brain damage
has been detected.
The former Real Madrid striker, who recently said that
football had left him exhausted and he would quit in 2014, fell
ill after returning by air from Rome after Saturday's 3-2 win
over AS Roma.
The statement said the 29-year-old is already feeling much
better after reports he initially had difficulty talking and
His team-mates unveiled a shirt bearing his name after
scoring in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at BATE Borisov which helped take
Milan into the Champions League.
Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, chief executive Adriano
Galliani, coach Massimiliano Allegri and Italian federation
president Giancarlo Abete all visited Cassano at the Policlinico
di Milano where he was being treated on Wednesday.
"Antonio is in a good condition, the lad is fine but I'm not
a doctor," Galliani told reporters.
"I was very, very worried. His career is not at risk. The
doctors say he will need a few months, not too many, although I
don't want to say too much at this stage, maybe in four, five or
six months he will be in conditions to play.
"He has told me that he's upset because he had been playing
Abete said: "The most important thing is his complete and
quick recovery, and whenever it will be, it will be," said
"We will stay in constant contact with the club and will do
everything in his interest. His health comes first, the rest
Cassano, born in Bari, has had a colourful career marked by
tantrums and personality clashes but his early immaturities
looked to have been ironed out when he joined Sampdoria from
Real in 2007.
However, a verbal spat with the Samp president led to him
being suspended last year and he joined Milan in January.
The 29-year-old became a key factor in their Serie A triumph
in May and has also emerged as Italy's main forward under Cesare
Prandelli as they easily qualified for Euro 2012.
Prandelli will now hope the skilful forward will recover in
time for next June's finals in Ukraine and Poland.
Milan boast Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho
among their forwards but may now be forced to recruit another
striker in January should Cassano be ruled out for several
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