World Cup - Italy's Montolivo out of World Cup with broken leg

Italy suffered a serious blow ahead of the World Cup when midfielder Riccardo Montolivo suffered a broken leg during a warm-up game against Ireland at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

World Cup - Italy's Montolivo out of World Cup with broken leg

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Italy's Riccardo Montolivo (bottom) receives medical treatment (Reuters)

"It's what we feared, a fractured tibia. It will probably need some months, Riccardo is out of the World Cup. He didn't deserve this," team doctor Enrico Castellacci told Rai television.

The elegant AC Milan midfielder was accidentally caught in a challenge by defender Alex Pearce after 10 minutes and, having stood up to test his leg, went to ground and was carried off on a stretcher after five minutes of treatment on the field.

He was taken to hospital for an X-ray where it was confirmed he had suffered a fractured tibia.

Italy also had to substitute Montolivo's replacement Alberto Aquilani, who only played for 23 minutes before he went off after taking a knock to the head in a match that finished 0-0.

"The game was marked by the misfortune that Riccardo suffered. It's difficult to talk about the technical things when something like that happens. We are all stunned by what happened," Italy coach Cesare Prandelii told reporters.

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