AC Milan and Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo will miss this Summer's World Cup in Brazil after breaking his tibia in a pre-tournament friendly against Republic of Ireland.
The stand-in captain was stretchered off after just 15-minutes into the game at Craven Cottage when he collided into defender Alex Pearce, and after the game, Montolivo's doctor confirmed the bad news that he'd be out of the World Cup.
"It's what we feared, a fractured tibia," Castellacci told Rai television.
"It will probably need some months, Riccardo is out of the World Cup. He didn't deserve this."
Italy, who are drawn in the same group as England and Uruguay, will now be able to name a replacement for the Milan-midfielder in their preliminary 30-man squad, before the manager makes his final 23-man selection for Monday.
The Italians are joint-eighth favourites to win the competition in Brazil, alongside England and Netherlands, but after the damaging injury to one of their most influential players, it will be a real blow for the European side, who are looking to win their fifth World Cup.
After the game last night, Italian coach, Cesare Prandelli confirmed the news that Montolivo will be out of the World Cup, and he admits that it's a damaging blow and terrible news for the player and the team.
"The game was marked by the misfortune that Riccardo suffered.
"It's difficult to talk about the technical things when something like that happens. We are all stunned by what happened."
Many players are not in favour of pre-World Cup friendlies in case matters like this happen, and with a Mexican footballer also breaking his leg last night, it won't be long before several stars refuse to take part in the non-competitive games, just in case they miss the main event in the Summer.
Italy have to submit their 23-man squad to FIFA by tomorrow, and a replacement for Montolivo is expected to be announced later today.
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