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By ESPN Staff

Nesta gets go-ahead to face Ghana

DUISBURG, Germany, June 10 (Reuters) - Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has been cleared to play in Monday's World Cup Group E game with Ghana.

'From today Nesta is available to the coach,' Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci told reporters on Saturday.

Central defender Nesta has been struggling with a muscle and has not trained with the team since they arrived in Germany on Wednesday.

The return of Nesta is a major boost to coach Marcello Lippi who has already lost defender Gianluca Zambrotta and midfielder Gennaro Gattuso for Monday's game.

The pair, who are both suffering from thigh injuries -- could return to full training next week, Castellacci said.

'If there are no problems then Zambrotta should be available next week and Gattuso should also be ready next week, he is showing some improvement,' said the doctor.

With Nesta alongside captain Fabio Cannavaro in the centre of defence and Fabio Grosso at left-back, Lippi's only selection choice in defence will be whether to start with Lazio's Massimo Oddo or Palermo's Cristian Zaccardo at right back.

The Italy coach will wait until Monday before naming his side and the biggest decision he will have to make is whether to start with Francesco Totti, who after training on Friday conceded he was only at '70 percent' of his form.

The forward, key to Italy's hopes at the finals, has only recently returned from a three months' absence following a broken ankle and has only once managed a full 90 minutes.

If Lippi decides to start Totti on the bench then the most obvious solution would be to play Alessandro Del Piero in Totti's role behind strikers Alberto Gilardino and Luca Toni.

But Del Piero has not looked sharp in the warm-up games and Lippi might be tempted to play an extra midfielder and revert to a 4-4-2 formation.

The prospect of a choice between Juve's Del Piero and Roma's Totti not surprisingly has led the Italian media to talk of a rivalry between the two players but Del Piero was dismissive of the suggestion.

'There is no dispute between us -- in fact we are both at Lippi's service and that is the best for both of us and for the team as a whole,' Del Piero told reporters.

Serie A's top scorer Toni said that while a fully fit Totti would be the best news for Italy it remained for Lippi to evaluate the player's form.

'Totti is calm and has a great desire to do well,' said Toni, 'Francesco at his peak is the best for us but it is up to the coach to decide'.