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Mario Balotelli out vs. San Marino

FLORENCE, Italy -- Mario Balotelli has back pain and will sit out Italy's friendly with San Marino on Friday, joining striker partner Stephan El Shaarawy on the injured list.

Italy physician Enrico Castellacci says the plan is for Balotelli to return for next week's World Cup qualifier at the Czech Republic.

After hosting San Marino in Bologna, Italy visits the Czechs in Prague on June 7.

Balotelli trained apart from the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

El Shaarawy will also miss the friendly with a bruised right ankle. Another forward, Pablo Osvaldo, was kicked off the squad on Monday for insulting his club coach at Roma.

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

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