RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Italy’s star forward Mario Balotelli exited the training pitch with a right leg muscle problem, two days before the Azzurri open their Confederations Cup campaign against Mexico.
The Italian football federation said that Balotelli walked off a closed training session with team physician Enrico Castellacci but that it was only for precautionary reasons and related to a previous physical problem.
Castellacci will evaluate the problem further on Saturday.
Stephan El Shaarawy, Balotelli’s strike partner at AC Milan, trained separately from the squad Thursday.
Italy’s other forwards are Alberto Gilardino, Alessandro Diamanti, Alessio Cerci and Sebastian Giovinco.