Balotelli struggling to recover from hernia, could have surgery

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Mario Balotelli‘s return to Italy has been stopped short by an injury, one that won’t go away.

On loan from Liverpool, the 25-year-old has logged just four Serie A appearances this season, and has been out since the start of October with a hernia that has not healed as expected.

Reports from Italy have suggested that Balotelli has been given eight more days of recovery before surgery becomes a necessity. Should surgery become a requirement, he could be out until 2016.

Balotelli grabbed four appearances – two starts – and scored a goal for AC Milan before finding himself sidelined after September.

Both his parent club and current club will want Balotelli to return sooner rather than later. AC Milan has seen Carlos Bacca in good form up front, but has little goal scoring help outside of the Columbian. Liverpool, meanwhile, is hoping Balotelli plays well so his value will rise at least a little as they look to recover as much of his $21.5 million transfer fee as they possibly can.