Terrible news for Italy, as medical staff confirm Mario Balotelli will not be fit for the Confederations Cup semi-final with Spain.
The striker was spotted limping after the 4-2 defeat to Brazil on Saturday and underwent tests following the trip to Fortaleza.
Late on Sunday evening chief medic Professor Enrico Castellacci confirmed to journalists that the muscular problem in the left thigh would not heal in time for Thursday’s semi-final.
It is a huge blow for the Azzurri, who have already lost Ignazio Abate for the rest of the tournament due to a dislocated shoulder.
Andrea Pirlo and Riccardo Montolivo are also at risk against Spain with a calf problem and head trauma respectively, though there is optimism they can make it.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!