Milan’s domestic and European ambitions have been hit by the news that Andrea Pirlo will be out for up to five weeks with a knee injury.

The 24-year-old will definitely miss Milan’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg match against Ajax and should Milan prevail, the midfielder will almost certainly miss both legs of the semi-final.

Pirlo was hurt prior to last week’s tie with Ajax and the initial diagnnosis suggested he would be out for ten days. However, further examination confirmed that Pirlo has fractured his kneecap.

Pirlo’s absence is a significant blow to coach Carlo Ancelotti, especially as he has already lost Clarence Seedorf for the season and has Gennaro Gattuso suspended for the Ajax tie.

Following their 1-0 win in Sunday’s Milan derby, the Rossoneri currently lie second in the table, six points behind leaders Juventus.