Italy right back Mattia De Sciglio will play no part in his country's opening World Cup match with England in Manaus on Saturday after being ruled out with a left thigh injury, the coaching staff announced.
The 21-year-old AC Milan defender -- who became a fixture in the side at last year's Confederations Cup playing four of their five games -- is likely to be replaced in the starting line-up by clubmate Ignazio Abate.
"De Sciglio will miss the game against England because of a left thigh strain," said Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci.
De Sciglio, who has been hailed in some quarters as the new Paolo Maldini, the former AC Milan and Italy legendary defender, learnt the bad news when he underwent a scan on Thursday.
It is the second time in two major championship finals that the two sides have met with England bidding to avenge a penalty shootout defeat in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
Copa America champions Uruguay and Costa Rica are the other teams in the group and play each other in Fortaleza on Saturday.