Brief news ahead of this weekend's
Serie A matches.
AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano was feeling "well" after
undergoing heart surgery on Friday, his club said on their
The Italy international, who was diagnosed with a heart
defect this week after falling ill following last Saturday's
victory at Roma, underwent a 35-minute operation and is likely
to miss much of the season.
"This morning heart surgery was performed on Antonio Cassano
to close his patent foramen ovale," the club, who entertain
Catania on Sunday, said. "He is well and in the next few
days will take tests that will determine when he will be able to
Leaders Juventus are at full strength for Sunday's testing
trip to Napoli with defender Stephan Lichtsteiner
expected to shake off a foot injury and midfielder Emanuele
Giaccherini back in training.
Juve, whose victory at Inter Milan last weekend stretched
their unbeaten start this season under new coach Antonio Conte
to nine matches, go into Serie A's big match of the weekend a
point above Udinese and Lazio.
"The club that wins the title will be an unpleasant side,"
Conte told Italian talk show Le Iene. "Recently Juve have become
too likeable. The wish now is to get back to being less
Fifth-placed Napoli welcome back skipper Paolo Cannavaro
but must do without Uruguayan midfielder Walter Gargano for
Sunday's visit of Juventus.
The centre-back, who missed Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League
defeat at Bayern Munich through suspension, could line up in
defence alongside Federico Fernandez - scorer of two headers in
the midweek loss - should Salvatore Aronica fail to recover
from a pelvic injury.
Struggling Inter Milan have more injury worries ahead of
Sunday's trip to Genoa.
After the news earlier this week that Brazilian defender
Maicon would be out for a month with a thigh injury, midfielders
Wesley Sneijder, Esteban Cambiasso and Dejan Stankovic are all
fighting to be fit for the clash with 11th-placed Genoa.
Centre-back Walter Samuel, who scored in the Champions
League victory over Lille on Wednesday, returns to league action
after a three-week layoff for the Nerazzurri, who have conceded
16 times this season and lie fourth from bottom.
Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini has given coach Devis
Mangia a vote of confidence ahead of Saturday's home match
against Bologna following the shock resignation of
sporting director Sean Sogliano on Tuesday.
Zamparini, who confirmed his no-nonsense reputation earlier
this season by sacking Stefano Pioli before he had led a Serie A
match for the Rosanero, has replaced Sogliano with Luca Cattani.
"I had a wonderful conversation with Mangia and have given
him my full backing," he told a news conference. "I hope he will
be Palermo coach for a long time."
AS Roma striker Fabio Borini could be out for a month
after picking up a thigh strain in last Saturday's defeat by AC
The Giallorossi, who have slipped to 13th after losing three
of their last four games, travel to Novara on Saturday.
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