Italy’s medical staff confirm they were “pretty worried” about Gigi Buffon, but now confident he and Mattia De Sciglio will soon be fit.
Professor Enrico Castellacci spoke at the Press conference in Mangaratiba this evening after last night’s 2-1 victory over England.
“At this moment Buffon and De Sciglio are the only real issues,” said the chief medic, “as the others are fine apart from the usual aches and pains.
“As you saw, in Friday’s training session Gigi’s ankle turned in an abnormal way, which provoked a sprain of the ankle and the knee.
“At the time we were pretty worried. As for the knee, there are no particularly serious problems there, but the ankle was affected in the anterior tibial ligament.
“From this afternoon we will evaluate and, if necessary, perform hospital tests. He has already begun ad hoc treatment.”
There have been reports Buffon will be available for the last group game with Uruguay on June 24, but others suggest he won’t return until the knockouts.
“In a World Cup we obviously will try to get the player back as quickly as possible, but remember his health comes first.
“We are fairly relaxed and confident his recovery can be quick, but don’t tell me if he’ll be able to play the next game. We have to take this one day at a time.”
Buffon posted a Twitter message implying he could be out for “another World Cup,” having missed Euro 2000 and almost all of the 2010 edition.
“At the start it was a problem psychologically for him, as in the moment he saw all the previous negative experiences go through his head. Then optimism began to take over,” explained Professor Castellacci.
“In truth, Gigi was almost smiling in the locker room and told me he was very happy to hear it wasn’t so serious. He had been expecting to leave this World Cup behind.”
The other injury was a thigh problem for Milan left-back De Sciglio, who forced Cesare Prandelli to reshuffle his back line.
“De Sciglio has a bruise, but no muscular lesions. This gives us a note of optimism, but it only happened a few days ago and right now he is not in any condition to train with the other players.”
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!