Balotelli out of friendly

  • Last Updated: May 29 2013, 14:11 BST

Mario Balotelli has pulled out of Italy's friendly with San Marino on Friday with back pain.

Mario Balotelli: Ruled out
Mario Balotelli: Ruled out

Mario Balotelli

9. Mario Balotelli

Title Number
Appearances 12 (1)
Goals 9
Assists 0
Yellows 7
Reds 2
*Current Season

The AC Milan striker has joined fellow forward Stephan El Shaarawy on the sidelines despite chief medical officer Enrico Castellacci describing a small muscle strain in the player's back as "nothing to worry about".

Today, however, the decision to withdraw was taken with next week's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in mind.

Castellacci told "This morning we knew he felt a bit of pain and stopped because he felt the muscles contract.

"The situation must be monitored day by day, our thinking is that he can recover in time to be available for Prague."

Defender Andrea Barzagli is responding well to an Achilles problem while midfielder Riccardo Montolivo, who suffered a thigh injury earlier this month, is no cause for concern.

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