Arsenal players have paid tribute to teammate Pablo Mari after he was stabbed in Italy, with his on-loan club Monza revealing that the Spaniard has been released from hospital but will be out for several months.
The 29-year-old defender, who is on loan at Monza in Italy, was one of five people stabbed by a knife-wielding man on Thursday evening at a shopping centre in Assago, on the outskirts of Milan. The player has stated that one man died in the incident and that he was “lucky” to survive.
After taking the lead in Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Arsenal players held up a shirt with Mari’s name and shirt number 22.
After being stabbed, the Spanish footballer avoided life-threatening injuries but required back surgery. A 46-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident.
Monza said in a statement on Sunday that Mari had been released from the hospital but would need “a period of absolute rest” and would be out for two to three months.
The club announced that their players will warm up for their home game against Bologna on Monday in special shirts dedicated to Mari, with his name on the back and a message on the front saying “come back soon Pablo.”
Before the game, there will be a minute’s silence in memory of Luis Fernando Ruggieri, the supermarket employee killed in the attack. The Italian league denied Monza’s request to postpone the match.
“It was a horrible week but also beautiful because what happened to Pablo is a miracle, that it wasn’t more serious,” he added. “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,”Monza manager Raffaele Palladino said.
Mari thanked his supporters on social media on Friday, posting a photo of himself in the hospital bed with his wife.