Soccer player injured in knife attack released from hospital

MILAN (AP) — Soccer player Pablo Marí was released from hospital on Sunday, three days after being injured in a knife attack at an Italian shopping center.

Five people were stabbed Thursday, including Marí, and one died after a man grabbed a knife from a supermarket shelf. Police arrested a 46-year-old Italian man suspected in the attack at a shopping center in Assago, a suburb of Milan.

The 29-year-old Marí, who is on loan at Serie A club Monza from Arsenal, avoided life-threatening injuries but needed surgery on his back and also had injuries to his mouth. He will be out for two to three months.

Monza issued a statement on Sunday saying the Spanish player had been released from hospital but would need “a period of absolute rest.”

The club also said that the players will warm up for Monday’s match at home to Bologna wearing special shirts dedicated to Marí, with his name on the back and a message on the front saying “come back soon Pablo.”

There will also be a minute’s silence before kickoff in memory of Luis Fernando Ruggieri, the supermarket employee who was killed in the attack.

The Italian league rejected Monza’s request for the match to be postponed.

“This week was has been very particular, very emotional. When we found out about Pablo it was normal that it shocked everyone. We were very down,” Monza coach Raffaele Palladino said. “But when we found that Pablo was out of danger we all heaved a sigh of relief.

“It was a horrible week but also beautiful because what happened to Pablo is a miracle, that it wasn’t more serious. So we realised it could have been a lot worse and we understood that it was our duty to play, to go out on the field and give everything, especially for Pablo.”

Marí, a center back, has played in eight of Monza’s 11 Italian league games this season and scored the second goal in a 2-0 win over Spezia this month. He spent the second half of last season on loan with Udinese, another Italian club.

Monza, which is owned by former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, is playing its debut season in the top division.

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The Associated Press