Italy blow as Buffon out `indefinitely`

Irene: Italy goalkeeper
Gianluigi Buffon will be out of action for an indefinite
period with a back injury, the world champions said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old was replaced at half-time in Italy`s
World Cup opener in Cape Town yesterday, a 1-1 draw against

"He has a bad sciatic problem. We cannot say when he will
be able to play again," said an Italian Football Federation

Buffon was replaced at half-time by Federico Marchetti
yesterday, after which coach Marcello Lippi said it was too
early to judge the seriousness of the veteran`s injury.

"He had an ache during the warm-up and then he said he
wanted to play, but after the first half he said he couldn`t
continue," said Lippi.

Buffon came into the World Cup on the back of a poor,
injury-plagued season with Juventus.

But he is still widely regarded as one of the standout
keepers of the modern era and kept five clean sheets and
conceded just two goals in Italy`s run to the World Cup title
in 2006.

Italy`s next match is against New Zealand on Sunday.

Bureau Report

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