With Zlatan Ibrahimović suspended for possibly the rest of his born days, AC Milan have been counting on Alexandre Pato to bear the weight of their scudetto dreams for the next six matches. However, in the 39th minute of the match against Sampdoria, the Duck pulled up, clutching his hamstring. The Brazilian immediately gestured for a substitute, the pain etched upon his face. Antonio Cassano, meant to be saved as a late substitution against his former club, came on to take Pato's place at the front of the Milan attack.
With goalkeeper Christian Abbiati subbed off for Marco Amelia in the 18th minute, apparently having hurt his hand, Milan are down to just one substitute for the final fifty minutes. More worrying, however, is the severity of the injury to Pato, who's been on an amazing run of form, scoring three goals in the last two matches. With a match against Palermo, who buried Roma's Champions League hopes in the early Saturday match, to look forward to next weekend, Milan likely have every reason to feel anxious over Pato's frowning face.