Arsenal players have honoured teammate Pablo Mari after he was stabbed in Italy, as his on-loan club revealed he has been released from hospital but faces months out of action.
The 29-year-old defender, who is on loan at Italian side Monza, was among five people stabbed by a knife-wielding man at a shopping centre in Assago, on the outskirts of Milan, on Thursday evening.
One man died in the incident and Mari has told how he was “lucky” to survive.
Arsenal players held up a shirt featuring Mari’s name and shirt number 22 after taking the lead in their 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
The Spanish footballer avoided life-threatening injuries after being stabbed but needed surgery on his back.
A 46-year-old man was arrested over the incident.
In a statement on Sunday, Monza said Mari has now been released from hospital but would need “a period of absolute rest” and is expected to be out for two to three months.
The club said their players will warm up for their home match against Bologna on Monday wearing special shirts dedicated to Mari, with his name on the back and a message on the front saying “come back soon Pablo”.
There will also be a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of Luis Fernando Ruggieri, the supermarket employee who was killed in the attack.
The Italian league rejected Monza’s request for the match to be postponed.
Monza coach Raffaele Palladino said it had been a “very emotional” week.
“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.”
Mari thanked well-wishers on social media on Friday, posting a picture of himself in a hospital bed alongside his wife.
He wrote: “After the hard moment we experienced yesterday, both my family and I want to communicate that fortunately we are all fine despite the circumstances, and we want to say thanks for all the messages of support and affection that we are receiving.”