Mario Balotelli has withdrawn from the Italy squad after injury ruled him out of Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier with Estonia.
The Manchester City player picked up a knee problem in a practice match yesterday just 13 minutes into the game.
After undergoing a series of tests, the former Inter player has left the Azzurri's training base in Coverciano.
"He wouldn't have recovered in time for Friday's game," team doctor Enrico Castellacci noted this morning.
"To try to get him fit for the friendly against the Republic of Ireland would have been a risk not worth taking."
The Azzurri play Estonia in Modena on Friday, before facing Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland next Tuesday.
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli also lost Inter's Thiago Motta to injury earlier this week.
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