Wednesday February 12 2020
Pavoletti: 'Lies about knee injury brawl'

Cagliari striker Leonardo Pavoletti confirms he suffered a new devastating ACL tear while leaving a team dinner with Luca Cigarini, but “it was just bad luck, there was no brawl.”

The Italian football world was stunned this week when it emerged Pavoletti had torn the same anterior cruciate ligament that had undergone surgery in August, effectively ending his season just weeks before he was due to really begin.

There were reports over the last few days on how he injured his knee again, with anything from excessive dancing to a brawl with teammates after dinner out together.

With these rumours flying, Cagliari decided to set up a press conference this evening with Pavoletti and Cigarini.

“We are here to clarify the situation,” began Cigarini. “It was a situation between Leonardo and me. It did not involve Valter Birsa, Cristian Oliva, Radja Nainggolan or anyone else who was rumoured in the many untrue stories that we’ve heard.

“I wish to make clear there was no brawl, people who know us realise the kind of friendly rapport we have together.”

Pavoletti explained precisely what happened when leaving the restaurant in Cagliari.

“We started joking around, there were some lads from the team outside, they called out to me, so I turned and lost my balance. I was just playing around with Cigarini and found myself on the ground for no reason. It was just bad luck.

“If I’d been worried about damage, I wouldn’t have carried on walking on it, nor go into the other club where many saw me walking perfectly normally. It was only afterwards that the knee started swelling up and bruising.

“I spent all of yesterday in Austria to see the specialist, who said the anterior cruciate ligament was ruptured. All the rest is idle gossip, some of it on social media was incredible, it turned into an episode of Gomorrah.

“I was the person who organised the dinner,” continued Pavoletti. “I was the happiest man in the world, I wanted to bring some joy to my team. It’s a very united group of lads, as shown by the fact we were all out to dinner together.

“I don’t know who started these rumours, especially about poor Birsa, who was just standing there eating ice cream. He had nothing to do with it.”

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