Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, currently on loan at Italian club AC Monza, says he was “lucky” after being injured in a knife attack in Italy on Thursday.
One person died and four people were injured in the attack which took place on the outskirts of Milan, according to the Italian national police.
“A mentally unstable man decided to stab people. One person has died and four are now seriously injured,” a police spokesperson said.
Mari was not seriously injured in the attack but was taken to hospital. He underwent surgery on Saturday to “rebuild the two injured muscles” in his back, according to AC Monza.
“I was lucky. I saw a person die in front of me,” Mari told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport from hospital.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Mari told AC Monza CEO Adriano Galliani and head coach Raffaele Palladino that he pushed a cart with his baby when he felt ‘excruciating pain in his back’ .
AC Monza released an update on Mari’s condition on Friday, confirming that the operation went as planned.
“The operation went well and a hospital stay of two or three days is to be expected. After discharge, the player will be able to begin a rehabilitation course,” a statement read.
“This type of muscle injury usually requires two months of rest before you can resume physical activities.”
CNN affiliate SkyTG24 reported on Thursday that AC Monza had requested a postponement of their game against Bologna on Monday. Serie A confirmed the reports and told CNN they would make a decision later on Friday.
According to SkyTG24, club CEO Galliani told reporters outside the hospital that the squad were “in shock”.
“We have a cohesive and united dressing room where everyone is a friend. Last night everyone was crying,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mari’s parent club Arsenal said they were “shocked” to hear the news.
“Our hearts go out to Pablo and the other victims of this terrible incident,” the club statement read.