October 10, 2016 / 2:31 PM / 10 months ago

Napoli optimistic of early return for injured Milik

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Football - Soccer - Napoli v Benfica - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group B - San Paolo Stadium, Naples, Italy - 28/09/2016. Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik celebrates after scoring against Benfica. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca

(Reuters) - Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik could return to action in about three months despite suffering a cruciate ligament injury on Saturday, the Italian club said.

The 22-year-old sustained the knee injury in Poland's 3-2 win over Denmark in a World Cup qualifier and underwent surgery on Monday. Such injuries usually take about six months to recover from.

"We hope to see him running in January, I want to be optimistic," the head of Napoli's medical staff Alfonso De Nicola told the club's radio channel on Monday.

"Recovery time will be shorter than we usually declare as precautionary measure, let's say three, three months and a half, but we hope even much less."

Napoli, second in Serie A and four points behind leaders Juventus, host third-placed AS Roma on Saturday.

Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia, editing by Ed Osmond

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