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Di Natale hurts knee in Italy Victory

Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale has suffered a partial tear of the cruciate ligament in his left knee and could miss the rest of the season.Di Natale sustained the injury in the 11th minute of Italy’s 2-0 win in Montenegro on Saturday night and was sent for scans on Sunday.

The result was a partial tear – although there were fears it could have been worse – with season-ending surgery one of the options now available to the 31-year-old.

Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said: “The fact that it’s only a partial tear means the injury is less serious than feared.

“It will be evaluated whether to opt for conservative treatment or to look to surgery. In that case the season would be finished for Antonio and he would be out for around five to six months. The better-case scenario could see the lad recover in time for the last few games of the season.”

Di Natale admitted after the game that he was concerned.

“I’m not calm, it hurts,” he said. I was under pressure and my knee just gave way, I felt a really big pain.”

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