AFP

Milik could return for Napoli this month

Milik could return for Napoli this month

Arkadiusz Milik has been cleared to return to full training with his Napoli team-mates and could feature competitively this month, according to the club doctor.

Milik mounted a strong start to life at the Stadio San Paolo with seven goals in nine appearances in all competitions, but had to undergo surgery after sustaining an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury while on international duty with Poland in October.

The 22-year-old began training with the ball in November and last month expressed his hope to be available for the Champions League tie with Real Madrid, the first leg of which takes place at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 15.

That desire moved a step closer to reality when Milik was granted permission to return to group training by Napoli's medical staff, with doctor Alfonso De Nicola claiming he could be back in first-team action this month.

"Arek's rehabilitation programme has already been agreed and we'll have no problems with him because he's a fighter," De Nicola told Radio Kiss Kiss.

"Just a week after the injury he was in the pool, he never stopped being an athlete. He needs some little games and he can play them, he has to get used to physical contact, kicking it while running and so on.

"He'll do a little work now, and then tomorrow [Friday] he'll return to the group. He's raring to go.

"In a fortnight we'll see him on the pitch, or rather he'll be available to [coach Maurizio] Sarri in 15 days and then the coach will decide."

Milik said in a Facebook post: "The hard work continues because now I can't wait to get back on the field. This difficult time has passed so quickly."