Pato out and he may also miss Arsenal clash

Brief news ahead of this weekend's Serie A matches.

AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato is definitely out of Sunday's trip to Novara and could miss the home leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Arsenal on February 15 after picking up a thigh strain in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Novara in the Coppa Italia.

"The prognosis is that he will be out for three to four weeks, barring complications," read a statement on the club website.

Pato, who scored the midweek winner as the Rossoneri progressed to the quarter-finals, joins Kevin-Prince Boateng on the treatment table after the Ghanaian midfielder sustained a similar injury in last weekend's derby defeat by Inter.

Second-placed Milan reacted to the growing injury list on Thursday by signing Algerian winger Djamel Mesbah from Lecce on a four-and-a-half year deal.

The champions, already missing Antonio Cassano, Alberto Aquilani and Gennaro Gattuso, are also without goalkeeper Christian Abbiati for Sunday's trip to the bottom club.

Eighth-placed Genoa have underlined their ambition by re-signing former forward Giuseppe Sculli from Lazio having brought in Alberto Gilardino earlier in January's transfer window.

"I'm happy to be back. It's like coming home," 30-year-old Sculli, who was a Rossoblu from 2006-11, told the club website.

Genoa, who were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Inter Milan on Thursday, have loaned German midfielder Alexander Merkel back to AC Milan for the rest of the season but have another new recruit, Davide Biondini, fit for Sunday's trip to Palermo.

In-form Inter look set to be without forward Diego Forlan for Sunday's visit of Lazio.

The Uruguayan, who has started just six matches since joining from Atletico Madrid in August, pulled out of Thursday's 2-1 win over Genoa in the Coppa Italia after struggling with a muscle injury.

Inter, who have won their last six Serie A matches, will leapfrog fourth-placed Lazio should they win at the San Siro.

Struggling Fiorentina will need to shed "blood and tears" for the rest of the season, coach Delio Rossi said after hundreds of Viola fans called for change following last Sunday's 1-0 home defeat by then bottom club Lecce.

"We are making moves in the market but we still need to work harder with the squad we have at the moment," the former Palermo boss told Italian channel Mediaset Premium. "I think our season will be one made up of blood and tears."

Fiorentina, who allowed main striker Gilardino to leave for Genoa, also sold Uruguayan forward Santiago Silva to Boca Juniors this week but are likely to bring in Juventus striker Amauri after Sunday's testing trip to Cagliari.

Sixth-placed Napoli could have talismanic forward Ezequiel Lavezzi back in their starting line-up for Sunday's trip to lowly Siena.

The Argentine, who has been out for more than a month with a thigh strain, looks set to come in for Goran Pandev despite the Macedonian striker's rich vein of form.

Seventh-placed AS Roma will be missing midfielder Daniele De Rossi for Saturday's visit of Cesena due to a groin injury.

De Rossi, who this week confirmed he was close to an agreement over a new contract with the club, is also likely to miss Tuesday's Coppa Italia quarter-final at Juventus.


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