Italy's injured midfielder Pirlo recovering

Published Jun. 17, 2010 3:15 p.m. ET

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo is recovering well from a left calf injury and could return for his team's final World Cup group match against Slovakia.

Pirlo began training with a ball Thursday for the first time since getting injured in a warmup against Mexico on June 3.

Pirlo underwent an MRI on Wednesday and team physician Enrico Castellacci said his recovery was on schedule.

Pirlo will likely remain on the sidelines when Italy faces New Zealand in its second Group F match on Sunday before playing four days later.

The defending champions drew 1-1 with Paraguay in their opener.