Andrea Barzagli may miss Euro 2012
Italy defender Andrea Barzagli may miss the European Championship because of a calf injury.
Barzagli strained his left calf in Friday’s 3-0 friendly loss to Russia and could be sidelined for 20 days, according to national team doctor Enrico Castellacci.
Castellacci said Monday that ”we will do everything to get him fit, it’s worth it.”
Barzagli is almost certain to miss the group games, and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will decide whether to keep him in the squad based on further tests on Friday. Italy can make changes up to 24 hours before its first game against Spain on Sunday.
Castellacci added that the injury is similar to the one that affected Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the end of the season and ”he was expected to be out for 20 days, but managed to be back a few days earlier.”
There were also concerns about striker Mario Balotelli, who pulled up during a training match with an injury to his right knee on Monday. The Manchester City forward spoke to Prandelli before limping off.
However, Castellacci later said Balotelli had gone off as a precaution and that it was simply a slight case of muscle fatigue. Balotelli is expected to train on Tuesday before Italy flies to Poland at 1330 GMT.
Apart from World and European champion Spain, Italy also plays Croatia and Ireland in Group C.
It is the latest blow to the Azzurri, with Italian football embroiled in a match-fixing scandal that resulted in Domenico Criscito being dropped from the national squad.
A warm-up game against Luxembourg at Parma was also cancelled because of an earthquake. In its final warm-up, Italy was comfortably beaten.