Updates from Saturday, June 21
Alex Richards of Mirror Football provides a disheartening update on Daniele De Rossi's injury:
Massive blow for Italy: Daniele De Rossi "highly unlikely" to face Uruguay.— Alex Richards (@AA_Richards) June 21, 2014
Football Italia pass along more details:
“It is very likely De Rossi won’t be able to play against Uruguay,” explained Professor Enrico Castellacci in a Press conference.
“There are no lesions to the soleus muscle. It simply is an injury that requires a few days to recover from.
“He felt this pain during the second half and it intensified towards the end of the game. The tests showed bruising on the soleus muscle, therefore the calf, that will very likely stop him from playing against Uruguay.”
Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi is dealing with an injury that may cause him to miss the side's crucial clash with Uruguay on Tuesday. The Azzurri haven't provided any specific details about the ailment that's bothering the longtime Roma star, though.
Football Italia reports the national team's medical staff would only confirm something is wrong with the defensive midfielder. Results from testing are expected at some point today:
He was taken to the Natal Hospital Center today for tests, though the results will only be given in greater detail in a press conference this evening.
"There is something wrong," commented chief medic Professor Enrico Castellacci to journalists.
De Rossi started and played all 90 minutes in each of Italy's first two World Cup matches. It started the tournament with an impressive 2-1 win over England, but was then upset by Costa Rica. The win allowed the Ticos to advance, leaving only one spot for either Italy or Uruguay.
Replacing the 30-year-old stalwart will be difficult for the Azzurri. He does great work thwarting attacks by playing right in front of the back line. He also plays the key linking role between the defenders and the attack to jump-start the offense.
Squawka Football showcased some of his strong work during the Costa Rica match:
Can Italy advance without De Rossi?
If De Rossi does miss the group finale, Italian head coach Cesare Prandelli will have some decisions to make, the most important being whether to stick with the 4-1-4-1 formation despite not having a player as accustomed to the defensive role as the injured star.
Claudio Marchisio would probably handle the spot best, but he's been doing good work on the flanks of the midfield so far. Italy could also go with a 4-4-2 formation by starting Antonio Cassano or Alessio Cerci as a second striker for more of an attacking look.
Ultimately, whatever lineup Prandelli comes up with won't be nearly as strong if De Rossi is indeed unavailable. The only good news for the Azzurri is that they only need a draw against Uruguay to advance, giving them some extra margin for error.