AC Milan striker Mario Baloteli, currently on loan from Liverpool, is not expected to play again until 2016 after undergoing hip surgery. The Italy international went under the knife on 18 November, with the Italian outfit confirming he will miss the next four weeks of action.
"AC Milan wish to communicate that Mario Balotelli underwent surgery in Munich," a club statement read. "The operation was successful and recovery time is around four weeks, assuming there are no complications."
The former Inter Milan and Manchester City forward wrote on Instagram: "All done! All good! Coming back soon. Thanks for the support, a few weeks and I'll be back."
Currently on a season-long loan from Liverpool, Balotelli's career prospects appeared gloomy under Brendan Rodgers but they could yet be reignited under new manager Jurgen Klopp. Many of the club's loan players returned to the Melwood training ground to meet the new Reds boss during the international break, though it is not known whether Balotelli was among them.
Liverpool did not insert a break clause in the season-long loan agreement with Milan, meaning Balotelli cannot rejoin the club in a official capacity. However, he could return to Merseyside during Italy's winter break, something the Anfield club may demand in order to assess his rehabilitation.