Fiorentina's Rossi now out for 18 months
Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi is will definitely miss the World Cup later this year after it was confirmed that he damaged his knee to a greater extent than expected.
The 26 year-old Fiorentina attacker, who is the top scorer in this season's Serie A thus far with 14 goals, limped off during last week's match against Livorno and although the initial diagnosis was poor, the news that Rossi will miss 18 months has rocked both club and country.
The former Manchester United player had been talked about as a probable starter for the Italians at this year's tournament and his loss will also harm Fiorentina's bid to qualify for next season's Champions League.
After suffering a similar injury in 2011, Rossi's recuperation had seen him rise to the top of the scoring charts in Italy- the first time a Fiorentina player had done so since the halcyon days of Gabriel Batistuta.
Italy will compete at the World Cup in Group D alongside England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.