Juventus facing Buffon absence

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Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is expected to be sidelined until December after a thigh injury proved to be more serious than was at first thought.

The Italy international has suffered an abductor strain in his right thigh and will be sidelined for at least six weeks as a result.

Juve's chief of medical staff, Dr Riccardo Agricola, told the club's official website: “An ultrasound scan confirmed the diagnosis of a second-degree lesion and also the prognosis made by Italy's doctors: it will take four weeks to heal.

“As soon as possible during these four weeks the player will begin physiotherapy coupled with a personal training regime.

“He will be able to gradually get back training with the team once he has fully recovered.

“He will be able to play official matches a few weeks after this.”

Buffon missed Italy’s goalless draw against Bulgaria at the weekend as a result of his problems, with Marco Amelia taking over in goals for the Azzurri.

The game in Sofia also saw striker Luca Toni cautioned, ruling him out of the midweek clash with Montenegro, with coach Marcello Lippi deciding to call up Udinese’s Fabio Quagliarella as a replacement.

Meanwhile, Napoli's in-demand midfielder Marek Hamsik has dismissed the latest round of rumours linking him with a move to Internazionale next summer.

The 21-year-old Slovakia international has been tracked by a number of top clubs across the continent, but Hamsik insists that he is more than happy to remain in Naples for the foreseeable future.

He told Pianeta Napoli: “At the moment I am reading this speculation in the newspapers, but I have never had any contact with the teams I'm linked with.

“I can tell you that I am very happy at Napoli. It is a great place, a strong side and a club with great ambition.

“I don't see how I could consider another destination. Winning with Napoli isn't like winning elsewhere.”

Hamsik joined Napoli in the summer of 2007 from Brescia and has scored 12 goals in 42 Serie A appearances for his current employers.