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AC Milan striker Pato to miss start of season

AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato will miss the start of the Serie A season after tearing a leg muscle, the Serie A club said Thursday.

Pato, 22, played just 11 league games last season due to various injuries, and will now be sidelined for the 2012-13 opener against Sampdoria on Sunday. He will likely be sidelined for at least a few weeks.

"AC Milan can confirm that Alexandre Pato suffered a tear to his left adductor muscle during training at Milanello (Wednesday)," Milan said in a statement. "In the coming weeks he will undergo further medical tests to establish how long it will take for him to recover and return to playing football."

Pato, who played for Brazil at the 2012 Olympics, has been capped 20 times for the senior national team since his debut in 2008.