Serie A player Mari out for two months after supermarket stabbing

Serie A player Mari out for two months after supermarket stabbing
Police officers stand guard near the site where several people were injured in a stabbing incident at Assago near Milan. Photo: Reuters/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Milan: Serie A soccer player Pablo Mari faces at least two months out of the game after an operation on Friday for stab wounds from an attack in an Italian supermarket that left one man dead.

Milan's Niguarda hospital said its trauma team had reconstructed two muscles in the back of the 29-year-old Spanish centre-back on loan at Monza from Premier League club Arsenal.

"This type of muscle injury usually requires two months of rest before one can resume physical activities," it said, adding that surgery went well and rehabilitation would follow.

"I was lucky, because I saw a person die in front of me," Mari was quoted as saying by Sky News in the aftermath of the attack.

On Friday he said that he and his family were "all fine" despite what they went through the day before.

"We want to thank all the messages of support and affection that we are receiving," he said on Twitter.

Italian police said on Thursday a 46-year-old with mental health issues was detained after the attack in a Carrefour supermarket and was under guard in a psychiatric ward.

The assailant used a kitchen knife available for sale in the supermarket in the town of Assago. A 47-year-old Bolivian national who worked at the supermarket died, while another employee and four customers were injured.

Carrefour's Italian arm said knives would be removed from store displays following talks with the Milan prosecutor's office and further safety measures may follow.

Il Corriere della Sera newspaper said one of the first people to restrain the attacker was former Napoli, Inter Milan and Bologna soccer player Massimo Tarantino.

Tarantino saw the suspect "scream, scream and that's it", the 51-year-old retired player was quoted as saying by Italian media.

None of the wounded people are in life-threatening conditions.

Monza have asked the Italian football league to postpone their match on Monday at home to Bologna as the team is "absolutely in a state of shock", chief executive Adriano Galliani said.

The game, however, will not be rescheduled, a source from the Serie A said.

Newly-promoted Monza, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, are 15th in the 20-team league.

Berlusconi, now a member of Italy's Senate or upper house, expressed support for those wounded and sent condolences to the relatives of the victim. "A hug to Pablo Mari from 'my' Monza", he added on Instagram.

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