Giuseppe Rossi's hopes of appearing at the World Cup this summer have received a boost following an examination on his injured knee in the United States.
The Italy international damaged ligaments earlier this month in Fiorentina's 1-0 victory over Livorno. It was initially feared he could miss up to six months, effectively ruling him out of the World Cup.
Preliminary tests carried out by Dr Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado, suggested that, while there was no repeat of the anterior cruciate ligament tear he had sustained earlier in his career, there had been further damage to the ligament.
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After the swelling subsided, and following a three-week rest, Rossi paid Dr. Steadman another visit on Tuesday, and the results were promising, with no surgery required.
Should all go according to plan, Rossi could return to action before the end of the season, leaving him enough time to prove his fitness before Italy coach Cesare Prandelli names his 23-man World Cup squad.
Prandelli has already made it clear he will give Rossi as much time as possible to make a full recovery. If fit, the 26-year-old would be Prandelli's first-choice partner for Mario Balotelli at the World Cup.