Riccardo Montolivo injury: Italy midfielder substituted against Ireland

Claudio Villa

Riccardo Montolivo's World Cup could be over before it has even begun.

There are concerns over whether Riccardo Montolivo will be fit to make the World Cup after he was substituted in the first 15 minutes of Italy's friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Craven Cottage on Saturday. The midfield playmaker went in for a loose ball and was caught late on the lower leg by defender Alex Pearce.

According to RAI's pitchside reporter, Montolivo thought he'd suffered a break:

That doesn't sound good. Montolivo wouldn't be described as one of Italy's key players, but he's a versatile midfielder and a big favourite of coach Cesare Prandelli. Needless to say, picking up an injury just a couple of weeks before the biggest tournament in football begins is horrible. Let's hope it isn't as bad as Monty seems to think.

Update: Riccardo Montolivo has indeed broken his leg.

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