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Robinho Injury: Updates on AC Milan Star's Thigh and Return

AC Milan's Robinho of Brazil celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match against Sassuolo, at Reggio Emilia's Mapei stadium, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)
Marco Vasini/Associated Press
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

AC Milan forward Robinho is set to miss the Italian club's crucial Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie with Atletico Madrid after succumbing to a thigh injury. 

A club statement confirmed the news, as reported by Sky Sports:

"Robinho has sustained a muscular injury in his left thigh. The Brazilian striker will undergo further tests next week," read the announcement.

Robinho will also miss Milan's important Serie A fixture against Bologna on Feb. 14 and will face a race against time to be ready for Sampdoria on Feb. 23. If tests show severe injury, he will also be unavailable for the high-profile match against Juventus at the beginning of March.

The Brazilian has featured regularly for the Rossoneri this season, making 18 appearances in the domestic division. Robinho has scored three goals and provided five assists in this time, per WhoScored.com, but is part of a Milan squad that continues to disappoint in 11th position.

He has also netted once in European competition this year, but will be unable to influence his side during their San Siro date with Atletico, who are joint-top of La Liga alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Clarence Seedorf may see Robinho's injury as the perfect time to try a tactical change, as Adel Taarabt continues to adapt to life away from the Premier League. Robinho, Taarabt and Ignazio Abate played just behind Mario Balotelli during the recent loss to Napoli, but Kaka could be reinstated in his countryman's absence.

Matteo Bonetti, Serie A expert and beIN Sport writer, believes another option could be worth thinking about:

Diego Simeone also has selection trouble ahead of Atletico's trip across the continent after Tiago Mendes was stretchered off in the loss to Almeria, per Sky Sports. Both teams will be looking to recover from indifferent results in recent times, albeit without a full squad.

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