Mario Balotelli has been put on a diet by AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who says the striker is working hard but must yet improve.
Milan re-signed Balotelli on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool during the transfer window having been deemed surplus to requirements by Brendan Rodgers.
The Italy forward gave an encouraging display for Milan in their 3-2 friendly win over fourth-tier Modena on Thursday, scoring one goal, setting up another and winning a penalty. But Mihajlovic quickly sought to cool expectations around the 25-year-old.
The coach told Gazzetta dello Sport: “He’s not played for a while and he still has to improve.
“He’s training well and his physical tests are satisfactory, but he is three kilogrammes overweight. He is on a diet and when he is ready, he will play.”
Milan CEO Adriano Galliani, however, admitted he was “excited” by Balotelli’s performance.
He said: “His fitness is improving, physically he’s in a good place and he can do what he wants when he has the ball. Let’s hope his goal augurs well for the rest of the season.
“When I see goals like that I get excited.”