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Stephan El Shaarawy to sit out friendly

FLORENCE, Italy -- Stephan El Shaarawy will sit out Italy's friendly against San Marino on Friday due to a bruised right ankle.

His strike partner at AC Milan, Mario Balotelli, should be able to play despite back pain.

El Shaarawy was injured during training Monday in a collision with defender Angelo Ogbonna.

Italy team physician Enrico Castellacci said Tuesday that El Shaarawy should be able to return in time for a World Cup qualifier at the Czech Republic on June 7, after which Italy will fly to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.

Castellacci said that Balotelli's back problem is "nothing to worry about," adding that it is being monitored daily.

Another Italy forward, Pablo Osvaldo, was kicked off Italy's squad Monday for insulting his club coach at Roma.

The other Azzurri forwards are Alessandro Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino of Bologna, Sebastian Giovinco of Juventus and Marco Sau of Cagliari.

Castellacci also said that defender Andrea Barzagli is "recuperating gradually" from an Achilles' heel problem.

At the June 15-28 Confederations Cup, Italy is grouped with Mexico, Japan and host Brazil.


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