Updates from Thursday, June 19
Cesare Prandelli has spokn on Gianluigi Buffon's status for the match against Costa Rica (via Football Italia):
Cesare Prandelli has revealed both Gigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli will play against Costa Rica if they respond well to training tomorrow morning.
Both players have been doubtful to face the Central Americans throughout the week, with captain Buffon having already missed the Azzurri’s win over England on Friday in their World Cup opener.
“Until tomorrow we can’t say who will play because we are taking it hour by hour in order to see whether these small injuries will be recoverable,” Prandelli said at a Press conference in Recife today.
“Buffon has done the last three training sessions, he still has a bit of swelling. If his reaction after training tomorrow is good, he will play.”
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
The Associated Press (via The Globe and Mail), updated Gianluigi Buffon's status as he recovers from an ankle injury that kept him out of Italy's World Cup opener against England:
Captain Gianluigi Buffon and fullback Mattia De Sciglio have resumed training and Italy is nearing full strength at the World Cup.
Buffon and De Sciglio each missed Italy’s 2-1 win over England on Saturday.
Buffon hurt his left ankle and knee a day before the England game, and De Sciglio had an injured left leg.
Updates from Monday, June 16
Italy have revealed Gianluigi Buffon could miss their second World Cup game against Costa Rica as he continues to deal with an ankle problem.
Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said, per Sky Sports:
Gigi has had a specific trauma, which is not your usual sprained ankle. It has affected the knee but, fortunately, the knee ligament is fine.
His condition will be evaluated. He is having specific therapy and we will decide whether or not to do some X-rays.
We will try to have him available as soon as possible. We are optimistic that he will have a speedy recovery but his health comes first.
I cannot say if he will be able to make it for the game against Costa Rica. After the injury, Buffon told me he was relieved because for a moment he feared he may have to miss the World Cup.
Updates from Saturday, June 14
Oliver Kay of The Times had an update on Buffon after Italy's win over England:
Gianluigi Buffon leaves the stadium with barely a hint of a limp. Would imagine he'll be fit for later #ITA games— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) June 15, 2014
Rob Harris of The Associated Press confirms Gianluigi Buffon's status for Italy's World Cup opener:
Italian FA confirms Buffon out of England game— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 14, 2014
Kay previously reported the bad news for Buffon:
The player confirmed the news via ESPNFC:
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will miss Saturday's World Cup Group D opener vs. England with an ankle injury, the player has confirmed.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 14, 2014
Gianluigi Buffon's status for Italy's World Cup opener against England is up in the air after he suffered an ankle injury in training.
National team coach Cesare Prandelli made the injury public on Friday, but called it "nothing serious," per Tom Williams of Agence France-Presse:
Cesare Prandelli reveals Gianluigi Buffon had to leave training early after "twisting ankle very slightly" but says it's "nothing serious".— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) June 14, 2014
Even though it might not be serious, Buffon may be out for Saturday's match, per Simon Peach of the Press Association:
Gianluigi Buffon is a doubt for Italy's World Cup opener against England after sustaining an ankle injury training at the Arena Amazonia— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) June 14, 2014
If he does miss out, it would be a huge blow for the Azzurri. The 36-year-old is coming off of another season in which he played a big role in a title-winning campaign for Juventus. As the national team captain, he's also one of Italy's most vocal leaders on the pitch.
In Buffon's absence, Salvatore Sirigu would be Prandelli's next-best option. The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper is a solid replacement in terms of pure performance.
Some might be questioning Sirigu's ability, but Italian football journalist James Horncastle thinks that if he's good enough for the French champions, he can probably do the job for Italy:
With all the resources PSG have, I think it's a measure of how highly they regard Sirigu that he is their No.1.— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) June 14, 2014
ESPN FC's Julian De Martinis wonders if the PSG keeper can take this chance and run with it:
Who knows? This could be the tournament that Salvatore Sirigu writes his name in history.— Julian of Martinis (@JulianDM11) June 14, 2014
Of course, there is no replacing how much Buffon means to the team. Not to mention the relationship that he has with his defenders, many of whom he plays with at Juventus.