Ibrahimovic out until after international break, says Pioli

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn't played since early May due to his knee injury
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play for AC Milan until after the international window as he recovers from a knee injury, coach Stefano Pioli said on Sunday.

Veteran forward Ibrahimovic, who will turn 40 in October, has been out of action since injuring his left knee during Milan's 3-0 league win over Juventus in May.

Pioli is hoping to have him available when Serie A returns in mid-September following the break for 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which start at the end of this month.

"He is better physically. He hasn't yet rejoined the squad yet but next week will be very important as there will be a lot of ball work," Pioli told reporters ahead of Milan's opening match of the season at Sampdoria on Monday.

"If everything goes as well as I hope he could return to training with us (the squad) during the international break."

Ibrahimovic's injury also meant that he missed Euro 2020 after coming out of international retirement to play for Sweden in the tournament.

Pioli can count on another old hand in 34-year-old Olivier Giroud to lead the line against Samp after the France forward impressed in pre-season after signing from Chelsea.

alu-td/iwd

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