Soccer

Rossi injury worse than initial diagnosis

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FLORENCE, Italy (AP)

Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi's injury is worse than expected after doctors discovered further damage to his right anterior cruciate ligament.

It was thought Rossi could return to action in 6-7 weeks after a medial collateral ligament injury but on Saturday Fiorentina said further tests have discovered ''a stress to the anterior cruciate ligament previously operated on.''

Rossi limped off in tears during Sunday's 1-0 win over Livorno following a hard tackle from Leandro Rinaudo.

Rossi, who is from New Jersey, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament during a game for Villarreal against Real Madrid in October 2011 and needed three operations before returning last May with Fiorentina.

The Italy forward was examined in Colorado by Dr. Richard Steadman, who operated on Rossi in April and October 2012.

Fiorentina added that Rossi ''will follow a rehabilitation program for 2-3 weeks before having another check-up.''

Rossi's agent Andrea Pastorello said he was unclear what ''stress'' meant in the diagnosis.

''It's a word that means everything and nothing. However, the cruciate ligament has not been torn,'' he said.

Rossi will continue his rehabilitation in New York.

''Professor Steadman has ruled out problems for his career, which is good news,'' Pastorello said.

The 26-year-old Rossi is the top scorer in Serie A this season with 14 goals in 17 matches and has returned to the Italy team. He is expected to be a key part of Cesare Prandelli's World Cup roster this year.

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