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Horncastle: Totti thriving at 40

Italian Serie A
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El Shaarawy out of Italy friendly

AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy will miss Italy's friendly against San Marino on Friday due to a bruised right ankle.

However, the news was not as bad for Shaarawy's club compatriot Mario Balotelli, the former Manchester City forward cleared to play despite complaining of back trouble.

El Shaarawy picked up the injury during a training session on Monday when he collided with defender Angelo Ogbonna.

However, Italy team physician Enrico Castellacci said the 20-year-old should return for World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic before joining his team-mates in Brazil for the Confederations Cup.

"As expected tests did not show any major problems so we hope for a speedy recovery," Castellacci said.

"We will decide together on when to reintegrate him back in the squad because we have some very important objectives. The goal is a full recovery for the match in Prague."

Meanwhile, Castellacci was confident there was "nothing to worry about" regarding Balotelli's injury, adding that the 22-year-old is being closely monitored.

The strikers' injury scares could have been a massive headache for Italy manager Cesare Prandelli, whose frontline stocks have been depleted following the expulsion of Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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