De Rossi injury scare for Italy during World Cup training

De Rossi Tackle On Rooney - England v Italy Euro 2012

Italy's first training session in Brazil ahead of the World Cup was marked by an injury scare for Daniele De Rossi.

Italy suffered an injury scare during their first full training session since arriving in Brazil, when star man Daniele De Rossi went down after a hard tackle from teammate Andrea Ranocchia.

The challenge from the centre-back left De Rossi clutching his left ankle, but he later resumed training after being assessed by team physicians.

Anything more serious would have been a cruel twist of fate, considering Ranocchia was only brought to Brazil as emergency cover for any last-minute injuries.

Having already lost AC Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo to a broken leg, a potential injury to fellow midfielder De Rossi would have been a huge blow to Cesare Prandelli’s side.

Italy play England in their opening match on June 14 in Manaus before facing Costa Rica and Uruguay, respectively, going into the tournament without a win in their past seven games.

The team were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Luxembourg on Wednesday in their final warm-up game, but the four-time world champions are still considered favourites to win Group D.

Playing in his third World Cup, the hard-nosed De Rossi is set to start in the centre of midfield for the Azzurri, despite past issues with Prandelli which saw the Roma captain left out of the side earlier this year for disciplinary reasons.

Having suffered humiliation at South Africa 2010, when they failed to progress from a group containing Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand, Italy will be hoping their tournament is more reminiscent of their 2006 winning campaign, in which current veterans Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo played such a crucial role.

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