Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has returned to training with his loan club Monza two months after surviving a knife attack in an Italian supermarket.

Mari had surgery to reconstruct two injured muscles in his back following the attack.

The surgeon who operated on his back said that he survived the attack partly due to his top physical shape as an elite athlete.

“The surgery was a relatively simple one. Luckily there were only two damaged muscles,” Osvaldo Chiara, the director of the general surgery and trauma team at the Niguarda hospital in Milan, said.

“[Mari’s] muscular mass is such that the length of the knife that was used couldn’t pass through the rib cage and hit his lung.”

The 29-year-old Mari said he was “lucky” to survive following the horrific attack.

“Back with the team. Step by step,” Mari said in a tweet.

Five people were stabbed during the attack and one was killed after a man grabbed a knife from a supermarket shelf.

Italian police said a 46-year-old with mental health issues was detained after the attack in a Carrefour supermarket and was under guard in a psychiatric ward.

Mari played 19 times for Arsenal before joining Udinese on loan. He was then loaned to newly promoted Monza in August, where he has made eight appearances this season and scored the second goal in a 2-0 win over Spezia.

Information from Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.





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