Having seen Confederations Cup semi-final opponents Spain neatly dismantle Nigeria in their final group game on Sunday, the last thing Italy needed was an injury to increasingly influential striker Mario Balotelli.
Italy's forward Mario Balotelli in action against Brazil, at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, on June 22, 2013. Balotelli will play no further part in the Confederations Cup and is to return home to receive treatment on a thigh injury, team doctor Enrico Castellacci announced on Monday.
The 22-year-old has been ruled out of the tournament due to a torn thigh muscle, and his absence only serves to emphasise his growing importance to Cesare Prandelli's side.
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