Brazil boss Mano Menezes has hailed Alexandre Pato's "extraordinary quality" but says the forward must resolve the injury problems that have hampered his start to the season.
The 23-year-old was part of the Selecao's silver medal-winning side at the Olympics during the summer, but has yet to make an official appearance for AC Milan this season due to an abductor complaint. The talented attacker has seen his early career blighted by injuries, but Menezes has stressed that the striker still has a big part to play for his national team once he resolves his current fitness problems.
"In my Brazil, Pato has played very little. Despite this, however, he is the second-best goalscorer of the team, which means that his quality is extraordinary," Menezes told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'm looking forward for his return on the field, but the more important thing is that he heals once and for all."
Pato was restricted to just 17 appearances for the Rossoneri last season due to a string of injuries, and while Menezes maintains that he is still in his plans, he admitted he is baffled by the former Internacional man's continued problems.
"In my opinion his constant physical problems are not due solely to bad luck," Menezes said. "I talked about Pato with my medical staff, and they told me that he has no structural abnormality, so he is not a player destined to be injured. Therefore, we need to understand why there are so many accidents. Pato can return to be great, but this negative moment must end. I still look at him for my national team."