AC Milan have been rocked by the news that defender Pierre Kalulu is set for an extended absence following an injury, and will need to plan as they await his recovery.

As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Frenchman has been ruled out for around four months with a hip injury sustained during the 2-2 draw against Napoli in Serie A in late October.

It comes as the Rossoneri manage a mounting injury list in defence amidst a faltering title challenge and mixed form, with just two wins from their last seven games in all competitions.

Kalulu’s successful surgery

Kalulu flew to Finland for an operation conducted by Professor Lasse Lempainen and the surgery was successful, but the defender is not thought to be in contention for a return to action until the end of February.

It was decided that surgery was necessary to avoid complications following a complete rupture of the rectus femoris tendon, after Kalulu was forced off the pitch just four minutes into the game at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli does have options available to him, with Kalulu‘s right-back spot occupied by Davide Calabria, whilst Alessandro Florenzi can also deputise there.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe holds off AC Milan’s Pierre Kalulu in the Champions League. [@PSG_English]

Milan’s lack of centre-back options

However, the 23-year-old was a particularly useful asset in defence due to his versatility, having looked equally comfortable at centre-back alongside Fikayo Tomori.

Milan are able to call upon Malick Thiaw in the middle, but are also without centre-backs Simon Kjaer and Marco Pellegrino through injury, whilst Mattia Caldara is also ruled out.

It could prompt the Diavolo to enter the transfer market in January for a short-term solution as they await Kalulu‘s return to the fold.

The France U21 international joined Milan from Lyon in 2020 and has made 106 appearances for the club in all competitions, helping them win the Serie A title in 2022.