Italy's Montolivo & Mexico's Montes out of World Cup with injuries | inside World Soccer

The perils of pre-World Cup friendlies were realised by Italy and Mexico on Saturday as their key players have been officially ruled out of the tournament due to injuries.

Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo had to be taken off in the eighth minute of the Azzurri's goalless draw with Republic of Ireland following James Pearce's challenge.

The AC Milan captain, who was skippering Italy on the night, needed several minutes of treatment before eventually being carried off on a stretcher.

The 29-year-old was taken to hospital for an X-ray where it was confirmed he had suffered a fractured tibia.

Speaking to Rai TV, Italy's doctor Enrico Castellacci said: "He has a fracture of the tibia.

"I'm waiting to see the radio graphical results before assessing everything, but more or less every tibia fracture needs surgery.

"There will be no World Cup for Montolivo, I'm so sorry for the boy. He will probably need around two months out."

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli added: "The game was marked by the misfortune that Riccardo suffered.

"It's difficult to talk about the technical things when something like that happens. We are all stunned by what happened."

Meanwhile, Mexico's Luis Montes has also been ruled out of the World Cup after a horrible injury in a 3-1 win over Ecuador.

The 28-year-old netted a stunning goal just past the half-hour mark but his night turned sour just a few minutes later.

Montes challenged for a loose ball with Ecuador's Segundo Castillo and both were hurt as their shins collided.

There was nothing malicious on either player's part, but Montes came out of the tackle with a horrifying leg break that required medical staff to cut off his sock before stabilising him.

The Mexican midfielder covered his face as he was carried off on a stretcher to cheers from the pro-Mexican crowd of 84,876 at the AT&T Stadium.

Some of Montes' teammates were visibly upset by the incident and the match was understandably subdued for a while after the interval.

"We prayed for him and now we're going to hope that he recuperates as soon as possible," Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said through a translator.

"Right now we're not thinking about the next games. It's an unfortunate situation and we have to keep moving forward."


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