AC Milan hit by El Shaarawy absence

Italian international striker Stephan El Shaarawy's troubled season got worse on Saturday as AC Milan revealed he would be out of action for almost three months after undergoing a left foot operation.

The 21-year-old - who has rarely played this term through a mixture of injuries and lack of form - had to undergo the operation after the pain got worse.

"Today (Saturday), Stephan El Shaarawy underwent an operation on his foot and will be out of action for around ten weeks," the club said in a statement. His long absence will see him miss several Serie A games as well as the UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg clash with Spanish side Atletico Madrid on February 19.