Uncapped Berardi pulls out of Italy squad with injury

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) Forward Domenico Berardi has pulled out of the Italy squad with an injury, two days after receiving his first senior international call-up for the upcoming European Champions qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway.

The 21-year-old Berardi was named in the starting lineup for Sassuolo’s Serie A match against Empoli but pulled up with a muscular injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Matteo Politano.

Italy coach Antonio Conte says Berardi underwent tests and a scan on Monday and while ”they showed nothing serious … he told me he is in a lot of pain.”

Conte adds that Berardi ”is also a bit scared because he’s coming back from an injury, so he prefers to return home and recover.”

Conte will not call up a replacement.

Italy is top of Group H, two points ahead of Norway.