Injury-hit midfielder Daniele De Rossi has been virtually ruled out of Italy’s Euro 2016 quarterfinal clash with world champions Germany on Saturday, according to the Azzurri’s medical staff.
De Rossi has been rock solid for Antonio Conte’s side as they upset pre-tournament predictions to top Group E then sweep defending champions Spain aside on Monday to set up a last eight clash in Bordeaux.
But as he continues to suffer from a “serious right thigh injury” picked up in the 2-0 win over ‘La Roja’ at the Stade de France, Azzurri team doctor Enrico Castellacci admitted the Roma midfielder is unlikely to return in time.
“It’s a very serious situation,” said Castellacci. “We’re trying everything to get him back in time. But we can’t give any prognosis.”
The loss of De Rossi is a significant blow for Italy as they look to secure their first Euros semi-final spot since 2000 when they lost out in the final to David Trezeguet’s golden goal for France.
Their situation is not helped by the ongoing absence of Lazio winger Antonio Candreva.
Candreva, one of Italy’s top players in their impressive opening win over Belgium, suffered a hamstring injury in their second group game, a 1-0 win over Sweden.
Castellacci admitted the player has been “working really hard” in a bid to win his fitness battle but admitted: “He’s made clear progress, but not enough to warrant his immediate return to the team.”
“He’s getting better, but he’s not cured yet.”
The absence of suspended midfielder Thiago Motta is a further headache for Conte as Italy look to extend their eight-match unbeaten record against Germany in major tournaments.