AC Milan open the 2011-12 season on Saturday against Cagliari but will do so without some key players, many of whom were hurt in Milan's latest preseason action.
Good news first for Milan as Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be ready for Round 1. The forward picked up an ankle sprain against his hometown club Malmo FF on August 15th. He was originally expected to miss the game in Sardinia, but he will be reassessed on Friday.
Kevin-Prince Boateng is a doubt for the game, but is likely to be ready to go when the club returns from the international break following the opener. The midfielder picked up a left calf injury in Milan's 2-1 win over Juventus in the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi on Sunday. He will be evaluated this week but is very unlikely to play.
No timetable has been set for Frenchman Mathieu Flamini. Like Boateng, the former Arsenal man suffered a setback in the game against Juventus. Flamini will see experts this week to get a better diagnosis.
Moving to longer term injuries, Mark Van Bommel may be out until at least the end of the international break. The 34-year-old, considered by many Milan's second half MVP last season, has a severe calf contusion and will be reassessed in 10 days to determine how severe it actually is.
One exciting part of Milan's summer was the free addition of two top defenders.
Taye Taiwo was one of those defenders, joining from Olympique Marseille. The left back is now out for 30 days after exiting the Juventus match with distortion in his left ankle. That means that Gianluca Zambrotta will likely be taking his spot in the opening matches. Taiwo's fellow new arrival on defense, Philippe Mexes, signed with Milan's full knowledge that he had an ACL injury that will keep him out until roughly October.
Possible lineup for Cagliari due to current injuries: Abbiati, Zambrotta, Silva, Nesta, Abate, Ambrosini, Seedorf, Gattuso, Cassano, Robinho, Pato