Buffon's injury worse than initially thought

Other News Materials 16 June 2010 01:31 (UTC +04:00)

The back injury Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon picked up in Monday's 1-1 draw with Paraguay is worse than initially thought, the Azzurri's team doctor revealed Tuesday, dpa reported.

"We can't say at the moment when he will be able to return," team doctor Enrico Castellacci said at the team's training base in Centurion, outside Johannesburg.

Four-time world goalkeeper of the year Buffon was substituted at half-time during Italy's opening Group F match at the Green Point stadium in Cape Town because of the sciatic nerve problem that he noticed during the warm-up.

It now seems unlikely that Buffon, who was replaced by Cagliari's Federico Marchetti against Paraguay, will play in Sunday's second group game against New Zealand in Nelspruit.

Initially, Buffon had been expected to recover from the injury within two days.

"I noticed a sharp pain when I was warming up, which spread down to my leg," he said.

Buffon also suffered with back problems at the beginning of last season while he also underwent a knee meniscus operation during the winter.