A pre-season friendly turned vicious when Perugia captain Gianluca Comotto had his nose broken in a brawl.
The match between Perugia and semi-pro side Castel del Piano was meant to be a relaxed summer affair, but it ended with former Torino and Fiorentina defender Comotto in hospital.
Castel del Piano player Alex Gibbs reacted angrily to a foul, headbutting and punching Comotto.
Doctors diagnosed 34-year-old Comotto with a fractured nose, which will require surgery and a month on the sidelines.
“We are so sorry for what happened and immediately apologised to Perugia,” said Castel del Piano President Robert Tromby.
“I hope to soon meet with Comotto so that I can apologise personally. Before taking disciplinary action, we want to read the referee’s report, as he sent off both Gibbs and Comotto.
“Of course, that doesn’t take away from the fact our player’s behaviour was very serious indeed.”
Perugia are in Lega Pro Division B, while Castel del Piano are in the semi-pro Eccellenza league.
This wasn’t the only ugly incident around a friendly this week, as Catania’s team bus was pelted with rocks as it drove towards a game against Cagliari.
Some windows were smashed, but nobody was hurt.