Gattuso faces long layoff
© AFP

AC Milan and Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso damaged his cruciate knee ligament on Sunday, and will be out of action for some time. Gattuso was injured during Sunday's 1-0 victory against Catania and will head to Antwerp in Belgium to see a specialist, his club said on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old has proved to be an essential element in the Milan team this season, and his loss will be a huge blow to the rossoneri's title chances. They play Juventus at the weekend in a must win game with both teams already trailing leaders Inter Milan by six points.

This injury could not have come at a worse time for Carlo Ancelotti's Milan, who are already missing several key players such as Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldinho and Alessandro Nesta. Milan did not specify for how long Gattuso would be out, but cruciate ligament injuries usually leave a player on the sidelines for several months.

At least Milan are set to welcome former England captain David Beckham to the club in January, and he may well prove an able replacement for Gattuso.