Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, who is currently on loan at Italian club AC Monza, says he was “lucky” after being injured during a stabbing 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 Italian national police.
“A mentally unstable man decided to stab people. One person has died and four are now seriously injured,” a police spokesman said.
Mari was not seriously hurt in the attack but was taken to hospital. He underwent surgery on Friday to “reconstruct the two injured muscles” in his back, according to AC Monza.
Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport said club CEO Adriano Galliani visited Mari in hospital.
It reported that Mari told Galliani and head coach Raffaele Palladino that he had been pushing a trolley with his baby when he felt “an excruciating pain in my back.”
“Pablo Mari says he had ‘luck’. He told me exactly this word,” Galliani told reporters outside the hospital. “Today I had ‘luck’, because he saw someone else die.”
AC Monza released an update on Mari’s condition on Friday, confirming that the surgery had gone to plan.
“The surgery went well and a hospital stay of two or three days is expected. After the discharge, the player will be able to begin a rehabilitation pathway,” a statement read.
“This type of muscle injury usually requires two months of rest before physical activities can be resumed.”
CNN’s affiliate SkyTG24 reported Thursday that AC Monza had requested for its match against Bologna on Monday to be postponed. Serie A confirmed the reports and told CNN it would make a decision later on Friday.
According to SkyTG24, club CEO Galliani told reporters outside the hospital that the team “is in shock.”
“We have a cohesive, united locker room where everyone is a friend. Last night everyone was crying,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mari’s parent club Arsenal said it was “shocked” to learn about the news.
“Our thoughts are with Pablo and the other victims of this dreadful incident,” the club statement read.