LONDON (AP) — Key Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo broke his left tibia during a friendly with Ireland on Saturday and will miss the World Cup.
Reading fullback Alex Pearce fouled Montolivo in the ninth minute at Fulham's Craven Cottage and Montolivo was carried off on a stretcher.
"Montolivo has what we suspected, a broken tibia," Italy physician Enrico Castellacci said. "I haven't seen the X-ray yet to evaluate the extent of it but for a broken bone you can expect surgery."
Montolivo was one of several players to be injured on a night of warm-up matches around the world, with Mexico's Luis Montes also suffering a leg break after scoring in a 3-1 win over Ecuador. Mexico coach Miguel Hererra said after the game that Montes broke both his tibia and fibula.
Montolivo knew immediately what was wrong, as he was seen saying "it's broken" as fellow players and medical staff hovered around him anxiously while he was still lying on the pitch.
"Psychologically, he was destroyed," Castellacci said after Montolivo was taken to a London hospital for X-rays.