Italy and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he expects to be back in action in January.
Buffon told Italy’s Sky TV, “I think by January I should be ready to go again.”
Buffon had to be replaced after the first half of Italy’s opening World Cup match against Paraguay with a herniated disk and then underwent surgery in July.
Bologna’s 24-year-old keeper Emiliano Viviano has been filling in for Buffon in the national side, while Marco Storari has stepped in for him at Juventus.
Meanwhile, Buffon spoke with enthusiasm about the way the national team had responded to new coach Cesare Prandelli.
“I was pessimistic about the future of the Nazionale after the World Cup, but now I am more optimistic,” he said. “In these first few games I’ve seen a real team.
“It is great to see Prandelli arrive with very clear ideas who gives a sense of security to the players. It isn’t easy to replace a charismatic figure like Marcello Lippi, but he’s doing it well.”