Italy doctor plays down Balotelli fitness problems

Mario Balotelli Italy

Rumours that Mario Balotelli is struggling with a muscular problem have been exaggerated, according to Italy's doctor.

Italy may rely heavily on Mario Balotelli for World Cup goals, so reports that he is short of fitness have spread very quickly.

Coach Cesare Prandelli opted to drop Fiorentina marksman Giuseppe Rossi and Roma man Mattia Destro, so an in-form Balotelli could be pivotal to Italy's chances.

But it has been suggested in the Italian media that the AC Milan striker is suffering with a muscular problem, which could even be a sports hernia.

However, Italy's doctor Enrico Castellacci has poured cold water on those suggestions ahead of the 2006 World Cup winners' friendly against Luxembourg where Balotelli is expected to lead the line.

"He has had fatigue in his muscles, but he can play without any worries," Castellacci is quoted as saying by Tuttosport.

"It's not a problem that warrants sitting out a game. It's wrong and excessive to say that it's a sports hernia."

Castellacci also responded to Giuseppe Rossi's claims that he was perfectly fit and ready to play in Brazil.

"From a medical point of view, honestly, he had recovered from his injury well enough. His exclusion was a technical, physical and psychological decision, it wasn't easy for Prandelli."

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