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Milan goalkeeper Maignan back after five months, says Pioli

Mike Maignan will return as AC Milan goalkeeper for this weekend’s Serie A clash with Atalanta after five months out injured, coach Stefano Pioli said on Saturday.

France international Maignan suffered a calf injury in Les Bleus’ 2-0 win over Austria in the Nations League in September, causing him to miss out on the World Cup as Hugo Lloris’ deputy.

His last match for Milan was the champions’ home defeat to league leaders Napoli a few days before. 

“Tomorrow Mike will play in goal,” Pioli told reporters ahead of Sunday’s match.

“He was the best goalkeeper last season, he has given us so much in all sorts of situations. He hasn’t played for five months but he’s doing well both physically and mentally.

“He’s been like a caged lion, he’s very motivated.”

Maignan, 27, was one of the stars of Milan’s charge to a first Serie A title since 2011 last season and had been performing well before his injury.

He will have two matches to return to his best form before Milan travel to London next month for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with Tottenham Hotspur.

Pioli has already conceded that Milan’s title defence is over as they sit 18 points behind Napoli in fourth, with a fight on their hands for a place in next season’s Champions League.

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