AC Milan's Riccardo Montolivo facing six months out; Sergio Ramos sorry

AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo has been ruled out for six months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury while on Italy duty.

Montolivo, 31, damaged his left knee during a challenge with Spain's Sergio Ramos and Milan have since discovered that he will require surgery, announcing the news on their website on Saturday.

Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura has reacted to Montolivo's departure from the squad by calling up Marco Benassi of Torino ahead of the World Cup qualifying meeting with Macedonia in Skopje.

The midfielder, who fractured his leg in a friendly game against the Republic of Ireland in May 2014 causing him to miss the 2014 World Cup, is expected to now miss five to six months.

A statement on Milan's official website said: "Riccardo Montolivo underwent medical surgery [Saturday] morning for the reconstrucion of his left knee anterior cruciate ligament.

"The surgeon Professor Doctor Herbert Schoenhuber is satisfied with the result of the surgery. The recovery time will be 5 to 6 months, unless complications arise."

Meanwhile, Ramos sent a message via Twitter expressing his upset at the injury.

It read: "Sad to hear about Montolivo completo injury. All my strength. #ForzaMontolivo."