A calf strain has ruled Italy captain and defender Fabio Cannavaro out of their opening FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 Group B match against the US here on Monday.

Italian officials said the 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning captain could also miss the 18 June match with African champions Egypt at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, scene of the opening ceremony and first game on Sunday.

Cannavaro, just two appearances away from matching the 126-cap Italian record of fellow defender Paulo Maldini, missed a 4-3 midweek friendly win over New Zealand and a training match two days later.