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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Rossi injury worry for Azzurri

ESPNsoccernet staff

Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi is major doubt for Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia on Friday due the reccurrence of a knee injury.

• Barzagli thanks Juve for call-up

Rossi pulled up during the Azzurri's training session on Tuesday clutching his troublesome left knee.

"He has suffered the same type of problem that he had in Spain,'' Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He has a knee hyper-extension. He will remain with us and we will evaluate if he can recover in time for Friday's game.''

Although Italy have already qualified for Euro 2012, coach Cesare Prandelli has a lengthy injury list to contend with ahead of the Serbia clash.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has picked up a back injury and missed Wednesday morning's training session. The Italians are already without Inter Milan forward Giampaolo Pazzini (foot) and Fiorentina's Alberto Gilardino.

AC Milan's Antonio Cassano and Parma's Sebastian Giovinco are currently Italy's only fit strikers for Friday's game in Belgrade, and Prandelli has called up Roma striker Daniele Osvaldo as a replacement.

"This is a dream come true,'' Argentina-born Osvaldo told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I want to thank all the Roma fans.''

The 25-year-old joined Roma on a permanent transfer from Espanyol last month and has made an impressive start to life in the Eternal City, scoring three goals in five league appearances.

"Osvaldo is of national team calibre,'' Italy and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "He is doing well at Roma and has a lot of confidence in his abilities. It could be the start of an important symbol for Roma.''

With Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito sidelined with a back injury, Prandelli has called Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna up as his replacement.

Ogbonna, who is the only Serie B player in Prandelli's 23-man squad, returns to the national team having earned his first senior call up in June.




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