LONDON – Key Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has been injured during a World Cup warm-up game against Ireland.
The AC Milan player had his left leg treated before being carried off on a stretcher shortly into the first half.
Injury details were not immediately clear but Montolivo appeared to be saying "it's broken" as fellow players and medical staff hovered around him anxiously.
Reading fullback Alex Pearce fouled Montolivo in the ninth minute at Fulham's Craven Cottage.
Alberto Aquilani came on as a replacement for Montolivo.
Drawn into Group D at the World Cup, Italy opens against England on June 14 then faces Costa Rica on June 20 and Uruguay on June 24.