Football.com - everything football

Balotelli doubtful for Argentina clash

By Football News



Italy striker Mario Balotelli is a doubt for Wednesday's friendly with Argentina, team doctor Enrico Castellacci has revealed.

Cesare Prandelli's men head into the clash at the Stadio Olimpico after finishing third at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in June. 

Balotelli scored two goals in three games during Italy's run to the semi-finals, and has found the net three times during qualifying for next year's FIFA World Cup. 

However, the Milan striker could well miss out on the clash with Alejandro Sabella's men - a game which marks the first time the two teams have met since Argentina's 2-1 victory in Rome in 2001 -  after picking up an injury during training this week. 

"He has a minor problem with his right knee, the one that he's undergone surgery on in the past and is occasionally a bit swollen," Castellacci told the Italian Football Association's (FIGC) official website.

"There's some fluid in his knee, but nothing to worry about it. He left the pitch for precautionary measures.

"Will he play against Argentina? That depends on how his knee reacts in the hours to come. There's no need for further examination, though."

Milan will hope that the injury is not too serious, with Balotelli expected to play a pivotal role in their upcoming Serie A campaign. 

Balotelli scored 12 goals in 13 appearances for Milan last term after joining from Manchester City in January, and manager Massimiliano Allegri will be hoping he can have a similar impact when they begin their season at newly-promoted Hellas Verona on August 24.