Swindon will start the season without first-choice goalkeeper Mattia Lanzano after manager Paolo Di Canio confirmed his injury was worse than initially expected.

Lanzano, 20, arrived at The County Ground this summer and has started and kept clean sheets in both of the Robins' pre-season friendlies in his native Italy. But the stopper sustained a rib injury in training and, although it was first thought he would only be out for a few days, he looks set to miss the league fixture against Crewe on August 6.

Di Canio told the Gazette and Herald: "He has some fibres that may be broken and our physio has checked him and believes he will take some time to recover."

The Italian manager put his faith in Phil Smith to star in Lanzano's absence.

"Phil Smith has done very well in the last two friendly games so I feel confident," he added.

"He has improved since my arrival. His positional sense and communication with his defence is very good."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms