Mari, who is on loan from Arsenal, survived the attack on Thursday partly due to his top physical shape as an elite athlete, the surgeon who operated on his wounded back said.
“The surgery was a relatively simple one. Luckily there were only two damaged muscles,” Osvaldo Chiara, the director of the general surgery and trauma team at the Niguarda hospital in Milan, said.
“[Mari’s] muscular mass is such that the length of the knife that was used couldn’t pass through the rib cage and hit his lung.”
Monza said Mari should spend another “two or three days” recovering at the hospital and will likely need two months of rest before resuming physical activity, with a further month before he can play again.
Galliani said the squad was “in shock” and have asked Serie A to postpone their next game, against Bologna on Monday. But the league did not change the fixture.
The 29-year-old Marí called himself “lucky” to survive following injuries to his back and mouth.
Five people were stabbed during the attack and one was killed after a man grabbed a knife from a supermarket shelf, authorities said.
Police arrested a 46-year-old Italian man suspected in the attack at a shopping center in Assago, a suburb of Milan.
“He told me he had ‘suerte’ [luck], because, ‘today I saw someone else die,’ Galliani said after visiting Mari at the hospital later on Thursday.
“He had his child in a cart and his wife next to him … He was probably saved by his height,” Galliani said of the 6-foot-4 Mari. “He was hit in the back and then he saw this delinquent stab someone in the throat.”
Galliani said Mari also had injuries to his mouth, possibly from gritting his teeth during the attack.
“He had two stitches applied to his lip and injuries to his back, which fortunately did not affect any organs,” Galliani said, adding that Mari was “lucid.”
Mari has made eight appearances for Monza in Serie A this season and scored the second goal in a 2-0 win over Spezia this month. He spent the second half of last season on loan with Udinese, another Italian club.
Monza, who are owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, are making their Serie A debut this season.
“Pablo is a great kid,” Galliani said. “He had the strength to joke around, telling me that Monday he’ll be on the field. I brought him well wishes from president Berlusconi and all of his teammates.”