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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

Russia
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 By Ben Gladwell

Italy call up keeper Antonio Mirante

Antonio Mirante will join the Italy squad if Salvatore Sirigu is not fit.

Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante has earned a late call-up to the Italy squad to the World Cup amid doubts about the fitness of Salvatore Sirigu.

Mirante will form part of a 25-man squad which will board a flight to Brazil on Thursday night, though he and Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia are only going to be there on standby. Should no member of the 23-man squad submitted to FIFA be forced to withdraw because of injury by June 13 -- 24 hours before Italy's opening group fixture with England -- they will return to Italy.

Mirante had been training with the rest of the Italy squad in Coverciano in recent weeks. Although he was to be released for his summer holidays on Wednesday, he will now find himself boarding a plane to Brazil on Thursday instead.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Sirigu sprained the right hemithorax in his chest in training on Wednesday morning.

"We went to hospital to exclude any fractured ribs," explained the doctor of the Squadra Azzurra, Enrico Castellacci. "After a scan and ultrasound, we saw that it is fortunately only a sprain. It's an irritating sprain, but one which can be controlled. He will train individually and not do any diving for a few days."

Castellacci added that there "is no need to call up a replacement," but Prandelli does not want to arrive in Brazil with only Gianluigi Buffon and Mattia Perin, which is why he has called up Mirante as a precaution.

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