Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi could miss Italy's next batch of 2010 FIFA World Cup outh Africa™ qualifiers after his club reported he had suffered a thigh strain.

The international centre-back underwent tests on Thursday after limping off during the first half of Inter's UEFA Champions League 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen on Wednesday.

Italian media speculated that he could be out for as much as three weeks, meaning he would miss the next two qualifiers in Bulgaria and at home to Montenegro.

He is also likely to miss Inter's next two Serie A matches against Bologna and the crucial trip to AS Roma, as well as their next Champions League tie against Anorthosis Famagusta.