AC Milan pair Calhanoglu and Hernandez test positive for coronavirus

Hakan Calhanoglu Milan Serie A
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The duo are both asymptomatic and isolating following positive swab tests on Saturday, with Milan set to play Cagliari on Monday

AC Milan have announced Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez have tested positive for coronavirus.

The two cases were discovered following Covid-19 swab tests carried out on Saturday, with the club immediately informing the health authorities upon learning the results.

Both players are asymptomatic and the rest of the squad tested negative, Milan confirmed in a statement released on Sunday.

Calhanoglu and Hernandez are now isolating at home, leaving Milan without the duo for some key fixtures coming up in January.

"There are important absences, but it is this type of season, problems can come at any moment, so we must be ready,” manager Stefano Pioli told a press conference.

“We’ve always doubled the energies in difficult moments. We are used to it, we are ready. I expect the players to always be ready, during training and matches. These are critical issues that must be addressed with determination and with the awareness of the strength of the team.

“It’s a difficult season for everyone, not only for us. One month ago, everyone was available, it can happen to face these kind of situations. We’ve proved to be a united team, the club has provided a competitive squad. We are determined to overcome these difficulties.”

Pioli also spoke about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is expected to play in Milan's next fixture after a recent spell out of action.

“Ibra is so important for us, we all know his worth, he has overcome his physical problems and I’ve seen him well, he is ready to play tomorrow," he said.

"We must continue to work, the title of winter champion counts very little. We must be focused on tomorrow’s game, it is difficult, we must consider it the most important game of the championship.

"We have to be ready, a difficult game awaits us, the opponents have collected less than they deserved, they have players like [Radja] Nainggolan, [Diego] Godin, Joao Pedro. Experienced and prepared players.

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“We must have respect for the opponent, we want to dominate the game, but we are aware we could suffer.”

The Serie A leaders - who have lost just once in league action this season so far - visit Cagliari on Monday, then host Atalanta at San Siro next Saturday.

There is also a Coppa Italia quarter-final clash with rivals Inter looming on the horizon, that tie due to be played on January 25. 

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