A few days ago, rumours from Italy claimed that AC Milan were already looking to return Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic, just three weeks into his season-long loan spell. The 21-year-old had only played two friendly matches with the Italian team so far, and while he was on the bench for three Serie A games, he had fallen to the bottom of the midfield depth chart and would be unlikely to see any real match action.
Amidst these reports on Pasalic's early exit, his representative Federico Pastorello went to the media to explain what is actually going on.
"He has not played because according to manager [Vincenzo] Montella he is a little ‘back in physical condition’ because he didn’t do the physical training with the others as he was still recovering from injury. He played only two friendly games since he arrived. His time is coming soon."
-Federico Pastorello; Source: Calciomercato
Pasalic spent last season on loan at French side AS Monaco, but his time at the club had to be cut short in February due to a mysterious back injury. Only in August did he finally manage to recover from whatever the issue was, thus missing a good chunk of preseason preparations. His lack of fitness should therefore not be a surprise, and hopefully he will indeed earn his chance with Milan's first team eventually, rather than being yet another “Failed Chelsea Loan Assignment” statistic.