Materazzi goes under the knife
Italian defender Marco Materazzi has undergone an operation to remove a build up of blood in his thigh, which he injured during Wednesday's embarrassing 3-1 friendly defeat to Hungary.
The 34-year-old's doctor revealed details of the operation to the press on Thursday and moved to calm fears that the Inter Milan centre-back would face a lengthy lay-off.
"He's fine, he's tough," said Franco Combi.
Combi refused to be drawn on an exact date for Materazzi's return to action but it is thought that he will almost certainly miss the crunch European Championships qualifier against France in Milan on 8 September, as well as the trip to Kiev to face Ukraine four days later.
"What's important is that we stopped the bruise from worsening, we stopped any physical damage," added Combi. "We'll see if there are any complications, the delay will be what it will be."
Earlier in the day, Italy team doctor Andrea Ferretti told ANSA news agency: "An exact diagnosis will be made soon but he's going to need several weeks to get better."
Italy were hauled over the coals by the Italian press on Thursday who described the Budapest result as "humiliating" and "lacking ideas" against a Hungarian side which was "more reactive and athletically fresher".
"An Italy like that - No!" headlined the Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Yesterday the earth on the pitch at Budapest was turned into quick sand and the Azzurri floundered in it. But it wasn't the fault of the groundsmen but because of the lame legs of the players," La Gazetta suggested.
Il Corriere della Sera expressed similar concern, telling its readers that this should "sound the alarm bell ahead of the match against France".
"There were a lot of things missing from this Italy side, in fact almost everything was missing," the paper said.