Gigi Buffon wished Salvatore Sirigu the best of luck, but hinted he could “miss another World Cup” due to injury.
The goalkeeper has been ruled out of tonight’s opener against England in Manaus after spraining his left ankle during a training session.
“Good day to everyone...” wrote Buffon on his official Twitter and WhoSay accounts.
“Life is beautiful and I am still indebted to her... It won’t be a missed game or another World Cup missed out to make me change my mind!!!
“Besides, there are many ways to be important, even if you’re not a protagonist on the field... therefore... forza great Salvatore... forza magical lads... FORZA ITALIA, my great love!!!”
Cesare Prandelli insists he will “have another test” before kick-off at 23.00 UK time (22.00 GMT), but there are reports the sprain has also affected the knee.
Buffon’s statement hints that the injury could be so serious as to rule him out of the World Cup entirely, an experience he already has after missing the 2010 edition.